(Fortune) Future iterations of quantum computers will be able to solve mathematical problems ordinary computers have no hope of computing and open as yet unexplored frontiers for scientific inquiry. Machines like these will touch every aspect of our lives—from drug discovery to digital security.
The prospect of quantum computing necessitates a complete rethinking of cryptography. Today’s encryption may be rendered obsolete sooner than most people anticipate. Michele Mosca, cofounder of the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Ontario, has estimated a 1-in-7 chance that quantum breakthroughs will defeat RSA-2048, a common encryption standard, by 2026. If that’s true, then the time to begin reengineering our digital defenses is now.