(Enterprise.com) Most of our existing protocols for encryption security – think online banking, VPNs, database storage, digital signatures, blockchains, and disk encryption – are based on a set of problems which are difficult for our existing computers to solve. The bad news is that it looks like quantum computers may be able to solve these problems relatively simply, meaning that data stored or transmitted using the current standard protocols will be at risk.
Author Mike Bursell advises his readers that it’s worth checking now whether you have any projects where long-term encryption is likely to be an issue, or projects which you expect to be long-lived themselves, and which use encryption. Looking at what impact quantum computing may have on them is worthwhile.
Bursell also discusses the upsides–the number of areas where quantum-related technologies can help us. One of these is key distribution: Though not using quantum computers specifically, quantum physics provides some key distribution possibilities with very interesting security characteristics. e can also expect new techniques to become available for searching (“quantum search,”) which is likely to have applicability within the security field, allowing faster searching and indexing across complex data sets of data gathered during a malicious attack.