(IDGInsiderPro) Quantum encryption cracking is on its way, so it’s time to start getting ready for it. John Prisco, CEO of Quantum Xchange, a company already working on commercializing quantum encryption, reminds us that, “This is not a question of if but rather when. The obstacles needed to overcome current limitations in quantum computing however are non-trivial and we are at least three years away from a quantum computer factoring Shor’s algorithm.”
Thanks largely to Let’s Encrypt, 91 percent of your US web visits are now secured by Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption. The Wi-Fi, through which our data flies, is defended by Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). And, these, and every credit-card transaction is protected at heart by Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. We don’t think about it, we just use it and assume no one will read our work documents, snatch our credit-card numbers, or look over our virtual shoulders to read out email.
Quantum computers are another thing entirely. Instead of classic computer’s binary calculation with bits, which can be either 1 or 0, quantum computing uses qubits. These can store much more data because they can exist in a superposition of many possible combinations of 1 and 0 simultaneously. According to Neven’s law, named after is creator Hartmut Neven, the director of Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence lab. Quantum computers are gaining computational power relative to classical ones at a “doubly exponential” rate.
The answer to this is to use smart quantum algorithms. These are designed to run quantum calculation as fast as possible, so you get answers before the qubit goes into decoherence. You can also improve efficiency by running multiple qubits so that one or more of them last long enough to finish a calculation.
Rodney Joffe, security CTO at Neustar, reminds us, “From a cybersecurity perspective, quantum computing promises to completely upend data security as we know it, rendering current encryption algorithms useless. Quantum computing’s potential to radically shorten that timescale could, in the hands of a malicious actor, enable cyberattacks unlike anything previously seen.”
NOTE: A lengthy article worth reading for indepth review of why you need to start working on your post-quantum computer security needs. Quantum computing will crack our current cryptography methods more than soon enough. Far better to be ready than see your secrets vanish in qubit smoke.