(SciTechDaily) Researchers at Rand believe the security risks posed quantum computers can be managed if the U.S. government acts quickly, and a centrally coordinated, whole-of-nation approach is the best way to manage those challenges.
“If adequate implementation of new security measures has not taken place by the time capable quantum computers are developed, it may become impossible to ensure secure authentication and communication privacy without major, disruptive changes,” said Michael Vermeer, lead author of the report and a physical scientist at nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND. “The United States has the means and very likely enough time to avert a quantum disaster and build a safer future, but only if it begins preparations now.”
Standard protocols for post-quantum cryptography that can maintain the current level of computing security are expected to be drafted and released within the next five years.
The report says that the sooner an interoperable standard for post-quantum cryptography can be widely implemented, the more the eventual risk will be diminished.
Building cyber-resilience and cryptographic agility into the digital infrastructure also will offer an opportunity to adopt structural improvements in the use of cryptography in communication and information systems that could improve the nation’s ability to respond to both current and future cyber threats.