(LinkedIn) When the quantum crypto break happens, anything currently protected by quantum-susceptible algorithms will be immediately broken. This likely means a sizeable chuck of our online world, including HTTPS, TLS, Wi-Fi protection, PKI, digital certificates, and even FIDO hardware multi-factor authentication devices would become immediately useless. If all quantum computers did was break HTTPS/TLS with their currently implemented ciphers, it would mean at least 80% of the Internet would be unprotected. So, too, would be our banking systems, credit card systems, and many cryptocurrencies (not the blockchains usually, but the digital certificates used to commit transactions).
If the quantum crypto break happens sooner than the time when most of us have moved to quantum-resistant cryptography, it’s going to be a huge rush to get everything migrated. It would likely be a panic.
But you don’t have to panic. You can start preparing NOW for the coming eventual quantum crypto break. It’s coming. Prepare!
First, create a one- to two-page summary of the current quantum crypto break and give it to management. Most people aren’t aware of this coming problem.
Second, get a data-protection inventory. You can’t protect or migrate what you don’t know about.
Third, any secret you need protected longer than a few years needs to be isolated from potential eavesdropping.
Fourth, increase all symmetric key sizes to at least 256-bits.
Fifth, identify all the data and transmission methods which use traditional asymmetric encryption and digital signatures. They will need to be upgraded when the national post-quantum ciphers and signatures are announced.
Author Roger A. Grimes is the Data-Driven Defense Evangelist and the author of Cryptography Apocalypse: Preparing for the Day When Quantum Breaks Today’s Crypto (https://www.amazon.com/Cryptography-Apocalypse-Preparing-Quantum-Computing).