(QuantumXchange) The race is on to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. With more than 70 potential vaccines currently in the works, though, it is unlikely one will be available before the end of 2020. Even as states and countries begin lifting restrictions, the need for a vaccine is the key to our return to normalcy – our lives depend on it, and our economies depend on it.
The Chinese are in the same race to find a vaccine and — not surprisingly — are already engaging in Intellectual Property theft to win the race. These latest actions on the part of China only reinforce the need to protect our trade secrets with the highest level of security we can provide — namely, quantum keys.
Chinese IP theft has been a sticking point between the U.S. and China for a long time. Indeed, the issue is at the heart of the new U.S-China Trade Deal currently in the works because China is reticent to put any limits on its ability to steal trade secrets for its own benefit.
According to a CNBC CFO survey, one out of five companies have been victims of Chinese IP theft in the last year, costing businesses as much as $600 billion per year.
Academic institutions, where a good portion of scientific-related research is taking place, need to be particularly careful because they do not typically have the same security measures in place that a private organization or a military/defense-related organization might have.
This latest case of Chinese attempts to steal our research serves as yet another example of why organizations – particularly agencies dealing with highly sensitive data — need to start protecting their critical data and intellectual property with the highest, most secure form of protection available. Even if our secrets are protected with encryption now, they won’t be safe when quantum computers come online.

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