David McGrew

Cisco Fellow


David McGrew is a Fellow at Cisco Systems, where he leads research and development to detect threats, vulnerabilities, and attacks using network data, and to protect data through applied cryptography. He pioneered the commercial use of encrypted traffic analysis to defend networked information systems, and designed authenticated encryption and secure voice and video standards that are in widespread use, most notably GCM and Secure RTP. David has created and contributed to open source projects, published research results, championed open, patent/royalty-free cryptography, and co-founded the IRTF Crypto Forum Research Group. Prior to joining Cisco, he was a cryptographic scientist at Trusted Information Systems. He holds a PhD in Physics from Michigan State University and lives in Maryland.


July 6, 2017


ETA: Why We Strive for Security That Doesn’t Compromise Privacy

3 min read

Security owns a complex relationship with privacy, one that can work to protect privacy or undermine it. It is often a compromise, one for the other. Enterprises and other organizations regularly balance this relationship when protecting information systems. I am excited about Cisco’s launch of Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), which offers a better balance point […]

August 25, 2016


Engineering Postquantum Security

5 min read

While no one has yet built a general purpose Quantum Computer (QC) capable of breaking the public key cryptography in use on the Internet, that possibility is now considered a realistic threat to long-term security.  As research into the design of a QC has intensified (including public access to a small implementation), so has the […]

April 14, 2015


Cybersecurity in the Post-Quantum Era

3 min read

One of the great scientific challenges of our time is the construction of a practical quantum computer. Operating using the counterintuitive principles of quantum physics, such a device could rapidly explore an vast number of possible states. It could perform computational tasks that are far beyond our current capabilities, such as modeling molecules and designing […]

April 2, 2013


David McGrew Discusses Legacy Encryption Solutions with Mike Danseglio of 1105 Media at RSA 2013

1 min read

Today, many encrypted networks use insecure cryptography. Attackers exploiting weak cryptography are nearly undetectable, and the data you think is secure is less safe every day. Legacy encryption technology can't keep up with current advances in hacking and brute force computing power. Additionally, legacy solutions are increasingly inefficient as security levels rise, and perform poorly at high data rates. In order to stay ahead of this challenge, encryption needs to evolve.