(NetworkWorld) In his presentation at the Inside Quantum Technology conference in Boston on Wednesday, Mark Jackson, scientific lead for Cambridge Quantum Computing, said “About 99% of online encryption is vulnerable to quantum computers.”
Quantum computers may be more or less fringe technology in 2019, but their development has accelerated in recent years, and experts at the IQT conference say that a spike in deployment could occur as soon as 2024. Pure research, the military, and the financial sector are the prime movers behind quantum computing in general and quantum security in particular, according to Lawrence Gasman president of IQT Gasman.
Brian Lowy, vice president at ID Quantique SA, a Switzerland-based quantum computing vendor said, “At some point, you’re going to have to factor [quantum computing],” he said, noting that, even now, bad actors could download encrypted information now, planning to crack its defenses once quantum computing is equal to the task. The precise day of the shift will vary by industry, according to Paul Lucier, vice president of sales and business development at quantum computing security vendor Isara.
Standards bodies are expected to approve quantum-safe encryption algorithms at around the same time experts are predicting that quantum-powered decryption threatens modern security, so a hybrid approach is possible. Be prepared, the experts at the IQT conference all agreed. “We think by 2026, if you’re not ready with your systems prepared, you’re taking a giant risk,” said Lucier.