David McGrew

Cisco Fellow


David is an expert in cryptography and network security who is engaged in both theory and practice. He was instrumental in the development of several standards, including the Galois/Counter Mode (GCM) of operation high speed authenticated encryption algorithm, and Secure RTP, the industry standard protocol for encrypted voice and video. David has authored several research results and holds 17 patents. He is currently chair of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) Crypto Forum Research Group, and is active in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

David works in Cisco's Corporate Security Programs office. Previously, he managed Cisco's Advanced Crypto Development Group, which pioneered the technologies used in Dynamic Multipoint VPN and Group Encrypted Transport VPN. From 1998-2000, he managed Cisco's IOS Virtual Private Network development team, and before joining Cisco, he was a Cryptographic Scientist at Trusted Information Systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics.


July 6, 2017


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

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

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

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

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.