Like every other technology that has impacted humanity, quantum computing is also a double-edged sword. Yes, quantum computers will be able to solve real-world problems that are too complex for today’s classical systems, but they will also risk our systems, devices, data and ultimately – us. How? By breaking the encryption keys that currently protect the Internet’s infrastructure and data. And considering that some of these cryptographic algorithms and systems have been around for a couple of decades (if not more!), we need to be more worried about a quantum future, not less.
Researchers from Google and Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology have demonstrated that a quantum computer with a 20 million-qubit capacity can break current 2048-bit encryption in just 8 hours. So once such a computer becomes available, our data will be vulnerable, even if it is encrypted. And this is not a distant-future possibility, but a near-future probability. That’s why ‘quantum-safe cybersecurity’ is the need of the hour.
Now, as quantum computing progresses at a breakneck pace, researchers have already come up with better methods to protect our data, including Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) and Quantum Random Number Generation (QRNG). However, these methods may be sufficient to counter current quantum threats to cybersecurity. They will not be able to withstand large-scale, powerful quantum attacks in future.
So what can organizations like yours do to become quantum-ready?
- Perform a detailed data assessment and risk assessment
The biggest threat of quantum is to data, so it makes sense for organizations to first understand their own data profile. These strategies can help:
- Identify your most valuable data and then classify it as per business need, priority, sensitivity level, etc.
- Define data owners: who creates it, processes it, owns it, manages it and obliterates it?
- Know where your valuable data is stored and how/when/why it flows within and outside your organization
- Figure out how long this data will need to be protected. If it’s over 25 years, it must be made quantum-secure
After data assessment, perform a risk assessment to gauge if your organization could be affected in the post-quantum era, how and to what extent. Ask yourself:
- Which business-critical infrastructure and endpoints are likely to be affected?
- How will it affect business continuity?
- What could be the impact in monetary and other terms?
- Improve your crypto-agility
Once you know what you need to protect, why and to what extent, you can take steps to improve your crypto-agility. A large part of this would involve updating your business processes to rapidly account for and adjust to new cryptography standards. Consider pushing your organization’s quantum security to the network ‘edge’ by implementing Quantum Resistant Algorithms – many of which are currently being evaluated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for standardization.
It’s also important to make crypto-awareness part of your organization’s DNA. Educate your employees and offer additional resources to make them aware of cryptography and the risks of quantum computing.
- Think beyond QKD and PQC; think QEEP
Current approaches to quantum-ready cybersecurity, including QKD and PQC don’t live up to their laboratory potential. They’re prohibitively expensive, require new dark fiber infrastructure for implementation, or are otherwise unfit for the quantum challenges faced by real-world applications. Meanwhile, Quantropi has developed a revolutionary enterprise-grade solution Quantum Entropy Expansion and Propagation technology (QEEP) that combines the best attributes of QKD and PQC with none of their disadvantages. Ultra-fast, high-entropy, lightweight and energy-efficient, QEEP™ is 100% compatible with existing network and technology investments. With QEEP, your organization can be confident that your information is and always will be secure, even in a quantum world.
Kick-start your journey towards quantum readiness. Contact us to know more about QEEP’s quantum-ready solution. To get in touch with us simply click the “Let’s Talk Button” and fill out the form!