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ETSI Secures Critical Infrastructures Against Cyber Quantum Attacks with New TETRA Algorithms

Dec. 2, 2022
Learn the TETRA ETSI standard that aims to help safeguard against cyber quantum attacks.

Mission- and business-critical communications networks used by the public safety, critical infrastructure, and utilities sectors (including transportation, electricity, natural gas and water plants) must be secured against third-party attacks, to protect communications and sensitive data.

With more than 120 countries using dedicated TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) networks for these critical services, work has been undertaken to ensure the ETSI TETRA technology standard remains robust in the face of evolving threats.

To adapt to technology innovations and potential cybersecurity attacks, including from quantum computers, the ETSI technical committee TCCE has completed work on new algorithms designed to secure TETRA networks for at least the next 20 years. These new specifications, ETSI TS 100 392-7 and ETSI TS 100 396-6 have been developed in close collaboration with experts from the ETSI quantum safe cryptography group. 

This work was carried out with the support of TCCA, the global representative organization responsible for the enhancement of the TETRA standard.

TETRA is widely used by public safety agencies around the world. In addition to securing network communications, it also offers direct peer-to-peer critical communications without the need for a supporting network in situations such as natural disasters and emergencies.

The transportation market is also a large market for TETRA, especially for Mass Rapid Transport systems, such as the London Underground network, and the Parisian metro network managed by RATP, and many major airports.

TETRA is a digital Private Mobile Radio (PMR) and Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR) technology for critical communications with a specific set of communication requirements. These include high reliability, single and group calling capabilities, PTT (Push-To-Talk), and the possibility for direct peer-to-peer communications. TETRA is optimized for medium- to high-capacity applications by utilizing Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technology.


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