Over the last several years, interest in quantum computing and how businesses can benefit from its application has gained momentum. Andy Horn, CEO of enterprise IT and technology expert IntraLAN, discusses how this emerging technology could change the face of future cybersecurity.
Many of us have heard of quantum computing, but understanding it can be challenging. According to TechTarget, it is defined as:
“…an area of study focused on the development of computer-based technologies centred around the principles of quantum physics. Quantum computing uses a combination of bits to perform specific computational tasks.”
Because of this advanced technology, quantum computing is much more efficient and faster than today’s standard computers, even those that operate at what would be considered high-performance.
How does quantum computing impact cybersecurity?
First off, as quantum computing continues to develop, the challenges it will present for cybersecurity will be substantial and not in a good way. That isn’t to say that quantum computing will change our operations. The potential it brings for artificial intelligence, optimisation and medical research is ground-breaking. With that being said, we must be mindful of the potential threats we could face in a quantum computing future.
What are the negative implications of quantum computing?
As of the time of this article, quantum computers aren’t commercially available, but that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. We must be prepared for when they’re readily available because security threats are already in the making.
Quantum computing in its current state isn’t advanced enough to break our current encryption methods, but that won’t always be the case. Hackers are already scraping and compiling data ready for when quantum computers can easily crack current encryption methods. The only way to protect ourselves is to implement quantum-proof solutions now. It’ll be too late if you wait until the technology is available to make changes to your cybersecurity strategy.
A recent MIT Technology Review shed light on quantum computing acceleration. Google and Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology found “a more efficient code-breaking calculation”. Using a 20 million-qubit computer, they broke a 2048-bit RSA encryption in a mere eight hours. This is only the first breakthrough of its kind, and even further advancements are on the horizon, putting all our data at risk.
What quantum-proofing solutions are available?
Some of the top minds in the world have been researching quantum-proof cybersecurity solutions for several years. This research is primarily because of the implications it could have on national security and those in the financial and banking industries – but that doesn’t mean companies can’t invest in that same technology to protect sensitive data, such as those outlined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been at the forefront of discovering quantum-proof security measures. In July 2022, NIST announced four quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms. These algorithms are designed to resist hacking attempts by future quantum computers. They are expected to be finalised over the next two years as part of NIST’s post-quantum cryptographic standard.
As more institutions join in the race to find the best possible quantum-proofing methods, accessibility for businesses searching for solutions also improves.
How can quantum computers benefit businesses?
It isn’t all doom and gloom. Sure, quantum computers will change the cybersecurity landscape, but with them, businesses are set to achieve goals they never thought possible.
Quantum computer technology brings with it a whole host of benefits for business owners, including:
- Enhanced encryption and decryption – quantum computers enable faster decryption methods but will also lead to improved encryption methods, making our digital assets much safer.
- Big Data Analytics – with the uptake in 5G and edge computing, the amount of data collected is set to increase steadily, not just by a little. Analysing this data using traditional methods can be incredibly time-consuming, but with quantum computers, it will be as easy as a simple calculation.
- AI and optimisation – quantum computing is set to change the way we live in a big way. It provides swift data computations to optimise AI programmes and infrastructure, making life easier and much more efficient.
Quantum computers will profoundly change the way we view cybersecurity. Quantum computers open up several vulnerabilities in cybersecurity, making it vital for businesses to take this emerging technology seriously.
At IntraLAN, cybersecurity is part of the fabric of our business. We stay updated on evolving threats and ensure that our clients are kept abreast of the changes required to keep their data, processes and company secure. Contact our team today for more information about how we can help your business reach its cybersecurity goals.