Need for Safeguarding Old Data Against Future Quantum Hackers
(Earth.com) Quantum computers may sound like the next Y2K, they will likely come to the same end. There are already quantum resistant encryption algorithms. Though they are not yet the standard in modern security, they will likely be implemented in the coming years. Many companies are working on solving this problem before it happens. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is currently examining 69 different proposed algorithms. The NSA has begun to advise agencies and private companies to begin transitioning to quantum resistant algorithms. Building effective and efficient quantum computers is harder than creating quantum-resistant algorithms. Therefore, the internet will likely still be secure when quantum supremacy (quantum computers beating classical ones) is achieved.
One area of concern that is difficult to address is old data. Though most web traffic cannot be read now, it can be recorded in its encrypted form. This encrypted data could be stored indefinitely. Eventually, this may enable bad-actors to use quantum computing to decrypt sensitive information in the future. Though most of this data will no longer be useful, some of it may. As personally identifiable information (PII) becomes increasingly valuable hackers may use stored data to extract information like SSNs and birth dates. The implications of this could be huge. However, they are yet to be seen in reality.