(QZ.com) For many years the quantum threat to cryptography was considered theoretical. However, recent advances in building a physical quantum computer beg us to revisit how we secure our information.
Systems and technologies that we introduce today that we hope will exist well into the quantum future—like power plants, airplanes, and orbiting satellites—must be prepared for the pending quantum era.
By addressing the issue of cryptographic agility, we can improve our cybersecurity posture at the same time as simplifying migration to quantum-safe schemes.The 2014 TLS Heartbleed vulnerability, which was estimated to cost the industry $500 million dollars, could have been prevented with a simple patch—if the integration of cryptography was more modular. The good news is that quantum-safe cryptography works today. And the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is currently running a process to evaluate and standardize one or more quantum-resistant public-key technologies.

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