Great powers correspond to great responsibilities.
This could be said to simplify an argument that has nothing simple: the consequences of the advent of quantum computing.
Although large-scale quantum computers are not yet commercially available, the launch of quantum cybersecurity solutions is already becoming necessary. This is because a malicious entity can acquire secure communications of interest today. So when large-scale quantum computers are available, that vast computing power could be used to break encryption and learn about those communications.
What are the real risks?
It doesn’t matter how long it will take before you see it commercialized. Cybersecurity is already a priority for those who have been dealing with the topic for years such as Jonathan Katz, cryptography expert and IEEE member. The fear is in fact that one day extremely powerful computing systems that exploit the properties of quantum mechanics could reach the unthinkable and obliterate the current encryption methods on which the Internet depends for security. It is inevitable according to Katz that a large number of vulnerabilities will be introduced unintentionally into the software as the process unfolds. Whenever software is modified on a large scale, vulnerabilities will tend to creep in.
The first solution.
In this regard, cryptography specialists have set to work in tandem with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This post-quantum cryptography activity began in 2016 and began to bear fruit in July. In fact, four algorithms have been announced that the agency aims to use as the basis for the new strong quantum encryption method. The algorithm that will provide secure web access is known as CRYSTALS-Kyber (some experts refer to it as Kyber). The three remaining algorithms will come into play for identity verification during digital exchanges.
Now it is “simple” to deploy on Kyber systems to allow HTTPS secure web browsing.
And it is already very likely that there will be, as has always been the case, a variety of flaws in the code introduced during the software engineering process.
Software developers have had decades to figure out how to properly implement existing forms of cryptography, such as RSA. It is very likely to see a variety of flaws in the code introduced during the software engineering process.
Why it’s so important to start decades earlier.
Once the resistant quantum algorithms are implemented, that’s when the work for companies will begin. And this will probably be the hardest part of all.
Hardware, operating systems and software will all need updates to enable the new quantum-proof encryption methods.
Preparing for this post-quantum future is very complex, especially for large organizations with a lot of workers and data inside them. The process will require making an inventory of everything they use that uses cryptography. This is no small task.
The computer industry feels a great deal of urgency in the development of cybersecurity. In part, this is because no one knows when the encryption threat might emerge.
It is not known with certainty how far in advance the problem of resistant cryptography is being dealt with, however, the concern is never too much and since it is a universe that could manifest itself in three or twenty years the risks are really unimaginable, the concern it is never too much and inaction is not an advisable way.
- Some applications to business of Quantum Computing
- Quantum memristor, when artificial intelligence joins quantum computing.
- Silicon quantum chips have exceeded 99% accuracy
If you want to know more about Quantum Computing, enroll now in the School of Disruption Quantum Computing Basics course held by professor Francesco Sisini.