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Financial Institutions Warned to Prepare for Quantum Threats

By IQT News posted 27 Dec 2019

(BobsGuide) Financial service firms are being warned to start preparing for the quantum threat now. “The future threat from quantum computers to all widely-used public-key cryptographic algorithms means financial services companies need to start preparing today for the transition to quantum-safe cryptography,” said Brian LaMacchia, distinguished engineer and head of the security and cryptography group at Microsoft Research.
JP Morgan has been working with IBM since 2017 to explore quantum computing’s potential in risk analysis and trading strategies. The bank declined to comment on whether it is preparing for quantum cyber threats; IBM did not respond by time of publication.
Daniel Cukier, CTO at the Bank of France said, “It’s not yet here. It’s not yet foreseeable for an attack to use this kind of technology, but it will be in a few years, or if you ask some suppliers they’ll say maybe in five to 10 years. We are monitoring this point currently, but are not yet at the point where we have to make changes to some of those technologies. But we know there are cryptographic algorithms much less vulnerable to quantum computing.”
Currently, a variety of public, private, and combination key algorithms are utilised within financial services. Asymmetric cryptography such as RSA and ECC can easily be cracked by a quantum processor using Shor’s algorithm, a quantum computer algorithm for integer factorisation invented in 1994. Symmetric crypto like AES are more protected, but could still be broken by Grover’s algorithm, a quantum algorithm devised in 1996.

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