(DataCenterDynamics) The two common cryptographic foundations for our standardized, ubiquitous PKI systems are RSA encryption and Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC).
1) RSA depends on prime numbers; 2) Elliptic Curve Cryptography works by finding two points on an elliptic curve that intersect perfectly to ‘unlock’ an encrypted asset. Solving for two points in this curve is likewise difficult for traditional computers.
Quantum computers take advantage of the nature of quantum physics to create an entirely new computing paradigm, unlike the traditional 0/1 gated computers that we have been using since the 1950s. Instead, they run on quantum bits (known as qubits), which can superpose and entangle themselves in order to perform multiple processes simultaneously.
For an encryption algorithm to meet our needs it must be:
● Fast to encrypt for a traditional computer
● Fast to decrypt for a traditional computer using the private key
● Prohibitively difficult to decrypt in a brute force attack for either a quantum computer or a traditional computer
● Able to produce encrypted data that is efficient in size and not so “bloated” that it is impractical to use
● Compatible with the staggeringly complex array of hardware, software, and services that depend on our standards-based PKI systems today
● Well enough tested and understood that we can be confident it won’t prove highly vulnerable to future, unknown attacks