(Fortune) The prospect of quantum computing necessitates a complete rethinking of cryptography. Today’s encryption may be rendered obsolete sooner than most people anticipate. Adam Langley, a senior software engineer at Google, pointed out that a latter-day Y2K could occur within the decade. 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.
Fortune 500 companies like IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Intel, are plugging away on the tech alongside smaller startups, like Calif.-based Rigetti. Nation states like China are, meanwhile, dumping billions of dollars into research and development.
The time to begin reengineering our digital defenses is now.