In the modern digital economy, data is the new “currency”. Data drives all kinds of interactions between individuals, organizations, and governments. It enables decision-making and problem-solving; supports positive change; and provides a direction to increase operational efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Recent research shows that data is even used as a “weapon” to carry out mass surveillance, espionage, and even large-scale cyber attacks. But what about the potential for a quantum threat?
Data is valuable – period.
For now, asymmetric public-key encryption systems like RSA do a fair (if imperfect) job of protecting the world’s data from bad actors. However, as we fast approach a world in which working quantum computers are readily commercially available, organizations and governments everywhere must prepare for a harsh reality: current cryptographic defenses that secure their data will be broken.
This brings us to a key question: When should they start thinking about protecting their data from the quantum threat?
Are Quantum Computers a Threat to Encryption?
Cryptography methods that protect the world’s data — from financial and health information to passwords, digital signatures, and top-secret military communications — are based on some mathematical problems that would take classical computers a very long time to solve (on the order of billions of years).
Not so for quantum computers. Once a sufficiently-powerful quantum computer becomes commercially available, these cryptographic defenses will collapse very, very quickly. In fact, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine predicts that a powerful quantum computer with around 2,300 qubits would crack RSA 1024 encryption in less than a day.
The Time To Protect Data from Quantum Threats Is NOW
Without strong, quantum-safe cryptography, bad actors with access to quantum computers will target data that powers all kinds of modern applications. Vadim Lyubashevsky, a cryptography researcher with IBM completely agrees, believing that “somebody could be harvesting the data now” so they can “decrypt it later”. What this effectively means is that hackers are already collecting (read: stealing) data from businesses and governments, even as they wait for a quantum computer to become available. And once it is, they would use the QC to decrypt the previously encrypted sensitive data for their own malicious purposes.
Businesses and governments must take steps to protect their data now. They must define their “data storage” timeline to figure out which data is only going to be around for a few years, versus which data will continue to remain valuable for at least ten to thirty years. Simply put, they must start thinking about quantum-proof cryptography methods sooner rather than later.
Quantropi’s TrUE Quantum-Safe Cybersecurity Solutions: Reliable, Industry-ready Alternatives to PQC and QKD
Research into quantum cryptography or Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), as well as quantum-safe cryptography or Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC), has been going on for over 20 years. However, these methods have several physical and technical limitations that render them impractical for mass commercialization.
Although provably secure, QKD is incompatible with the Internet’s existing infrastructure, requiring cost-prohibitive investments in new hardware for a real-world implementation. PQC relies on computational difficulty; as quantum computing capacity increases, the bar will be continually raised for PQC algorithms to stay ahead of the quantum threat – a cat and mouse game of sorts – crypto complexity increases so the computational (and power) requirements also increase (to fend off advancements in QC).
For organizations looking for an affordable, Internet-ready solution to protect their long-life data, these approaches fall far short.
At Quantropi, we believe that every organization needs to harden today’s defences against all attacks. We’re the only cybersecurity company in the world providing the 3 prerequisites for cryptographic integrity: Trust, Uncertainty, and Entropy (TrUE). Powered by quantum mechanics expressed as linear algebra, our patented TrUE technologies establish Trust between any two parties via quantum-secure asymmetric MASQ™ encryption (coming soon); ensure Uncertainty to attackers, rendering data uninterpretable forever, with QEEP™ symmetric encryption; and provide Quantum Entropy as a Service (QEaaS) with SEQUR™ – ultra-random key generation and distribution to enable secure data communications. All Quantropi’s TrUE technologies are accessible via our flagship QiSpace™ platform.
To know more, explore our website or get in touch with our team.