How did you get into the world of research?
I have always liked the constant challenges that research involves. In my field, I found it really important for society, and at the same time it was a lot of fun.
What are the focal areas of your work at present?
I work mainly in symmetric cryptography and I analyse the security of this type of primitives when they are in front of classical or quantum attackers. I try to propose functions that will remain safe and efficient in the long term.
What are your long-term goals or ambitions?
My long term goals are to better and better understand the security of cryptographic primitives and to continue to predict its potential weaknesses, which implies finding new families of attacks and new optimizations.
Cryptanalysis is a hard and technical task that has no end. I also want to find generic and secure ways to extend the sizes of the current constructs that will be needed to have adequate post-quantum security.
Maria Naya-Plasencia is a research director at the Inria center in Paris. Her main research topic is symmetric cryptography. In September 2017, she was awarded an ERC Starting grant for the QUASYModo project, and in 2019 she was awarded the Inria-Academy of Sciences Young Researcher Prize.