Quantum Computing in the World of Cyber Security
In this modern digital age, computer technologies are creating endless applications associated with every aspect of our day-to-day lives. However, there are still lots of opportunities that dwell beyond the grasp of classical computers. To keep up, we need a new kind of computing that can handle complex data. That is where quantum computing comes in.
What is Quantum Computing?
Quantum computing leverages the use of superposition and entanglement to perform complex computations. In Quantum Mechanics, superposition is a phenomenon where several separate quantum states can exist at the same time. Whereas entanglement occurs when two or more particles correlate with each other even separated by a large distance. In other words, a new kind of computing which needs a new kind of computer to perform its complex calculations that even the best supercomputer isn’t capable of.
How Quantum Computing Poses a Threat in Cybersecurity
The applications of quantum computing holds a great promise across various sectors such as artificial intelligence, stock market, medical research, logistics, and areas with a range of probabilities. It may also pose a threat to our digital life.
Encryption methods today play an important role in data security and privacy; such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA), and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). From the moment we unlock our phone, to the time we do online transactions, it passes through different encryptions. The security lies in the huge amount of time it would take for a traditional computer to break these encryption systems. Today’s methods are specifically designed to make decrypting practically unbreakable.
The image below shows an encrypted communication.
Breaking these most secured encryptions will take exponentially lesser time compared to conventional computers is what Quantum Computing can offer. Quantum threat is inevitable. For a normal person, it could mean access to their personal data, risking their privacy, or may also result in identity theft. For the government, it could mean access to the State Secret, espionage, or even hacking of nuclear launch code or missile code.
Benefits in Cybersecurity Landscape
Quantum computers can help solve algorithms behind various encryption keys, which secure our data and the Internet infrastructure. Researchers are working to develop a quantum-safe cryptography resistant to attacks by both conventional and quantum computers. Quantum-based algorithms like Shor’s Algorithm will become the foundation of future encryption.
How accessible are Quantum Computers?
IBM founded the development of Qiskit, an open-source quantum computing software development framework for programmers who want to develop or run their program in a Quantum environment.
Soon, Quantum as a Service, like Azure Quantum, will provide access to the public.
As computer technology is becoming more powerful, the systems we use to protect our data is getting more vulnerable as well. Fighting quantum with quantum is a battle between code makers and code breakers. The promise of quantum computing has a very profound implications for cybersecurity. Therefore, we must think strategically about the future of this technology today to become ready for the impending quantum revolution tomorrow.
Trend Micro Researchers