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Cybersecurity 22 Apr 2024

BBVA joins the international alliance to shield financial systems against quantum cybercrime

BBVA is a founding member of the Quantum Safe Financial Forum (QSFF), a safe space for collaboration between European and US financial firms promoted by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). The alliance aims to foster the creation of new technological systems within the financial industry that are safe, secure and resilient to malicious attacks that rely on quantum computing.


Quantum technology has the potential to make huge inroads over the coming decades in the fight against climate change, the development of new materials, finance and signals intelligence, among many other applications. However, it also poses a threat, because it could be used by criminal organizations to breach the cryptographic technology that companies now use to secure their data and communications systems. According to EC3, by 2030 quantum computers will be able to crack an important part of our current cryptosystems, including those hosting many of today’s communications systems.

The QSFF initiative is a concerted effort among various financial organizations to drive the financial sector's transition to so-called post-quantum cryptography (PQC), a new technological approach capable of blocking malicious attacks using quantum computing. The QSFF brings together experts from central and commercial banks in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, including BBVA, along with other financial service providers and associations.

Los miembros del Quantum Safe Financial

QSFF plenary meeting.

Transitioning to quantum-safe is not just about upgrading our current cryptographic systems. More to the point, they require a complete overhaul, which will be a complex and far-reaching technological process that the financial sector will have to implement in several phases. To achieve this goal, the QSFF is a key space from which companies in the industry can share knowledge and best practices, agree on evaluation mechanisms applicable to the entire industry, and coordinate actions and resources aimed at making a simultaneous transition to PQC.

“Current quantum computers are experimental and, while they might not seem to pose much of a threat today, they may do so in the near future. With that in mind, we must protect the confidentiality of our data and communications until that future arrives,” explains Escolástico Sánchez, leader of Quantum Discipline at BBVA. “With the creation of the QSFF, banks are now getting ahead of the threat curve, as they begin to build security systems that are robust and capable of shielding our own data, and that of our customers, from the malicious use of this kind of technology.”

Aside from BBVA, the following banks are also taking part in the QSFF: Banco Santander, CaixaBank, Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, Dutch Banking Association (Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken), European Banking Federation, FS-ISAC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mastercard, Moody’s, Novo Banco and Rabobank.