Quantum Computing: Changing the rules of the cybersecurity game

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To understand what quantum computing means for the future of cybersecurity, consider Ron Rivest.

The Problem with Algorithms

Few people on earth are more qualified in the field of cryptography than Rivest. A graduate of Stanford and Yale, he is the co-founder of RSA Security (one of the most influential security companies over the past few decades) and co-author of a standard textbook on algorithms. His parted brown hair, blue eyes, and a scruffy beard are instantly recognizable by industry regulars.

Basically, if Ron Rivest handed you a cryptographic hash function and said, “use this”, you would – and you’d feel safe knowing it came from one of the great minds of our time.

MD4 – his first model designed for modern Windows computers – wasn’t even out for a full year before two researchers cracked it. Just six months later he replaced MD4 with MD5, which proved to be a highly popular algorithm for protecting organizations’ data. Amazingly, the following year, those same two researchers found evidence that it, too, was vulnerable. In the time since, MD5’s flaws have enabled some of the worst cybersecurity incidents in world history: the hack of ashleymadison.com, the Flame malware, and more.

The lesson here isn’t that Ron Rivest is bad at writing hash functions. It’s that coming up with algorithms complex enough to stump modern, high-speed computers is really difficult. If you need more proof look at the “Secure Hash” or “SHA” family of hash functions.

The NSA writes SHAs, so you can be sure they’re best-in-class. They were first devised as part of the United States’ “Capstone” project, meaning they had legislation and funding behind them. But the first couple of iterations – SHA-0 and 1 (which were built off of Rivest’s work) – have been rendered insecure many years ago. Even industry standards SHA-256 and 512 have proven problematic.

The world will keep iterating existing functions forever but at some point, the game will no longer be winnable because the rules will have changed.

New Rules: Quantum Computing

If you believe Google, IBM, and leading companies around the world, then the future – possibly near future – of computing is quantum.

Quantum computing uses the principles of quantum mechanics – foremost among them superposition – to create processors which can solve functions at an exponential rate compared to today’s fastest machines. The science beneath is complicated but suffice it to say even the strongest cryptographic algorithms ever conceived will be mincemeat to this stuff.

“The challenge is – as we saw with the shortest vector problem – quantum may solve them too because they’re big, they’re complicated, and they’re not well understood. And there may be gaps or weak points that have yet to be discovered or soon to be discovered.”

– Quantropi CTO Michael Redding on classical algorithms.

For governments and enterprises, the problem with quantum computing is obvious – should an adversary gain control over a quantum computer, classical cyber protections will stand little chance against them. All systems, platforms, and data will be compromised. Even more urgent is that sensitive, encrypted data (by today’s standards) that is stolen today is at risk of being cracked and exposed when quantum computing arrives.

Fortunately, the solution is as obvious as the problem. To defend against a quantum cybersecurity threat, one must possess a quantum defense. Only quantum can take on quantum!

How do we use quantum against quantum?

“Simple analogy… Classical Algorithms [Boolean Algebra] are the Castle on a chessboard. They move linearly in one direction. Quantum Algorithms [Matrix Functions] are the Queen and can move in any direction and operate in two dimensions, and as a result, wield much more power. That’s the difference between Boolean Algebra and matrix functions. It’s great news because matrix functions can be represented as linear algebra which we can now express algorithmically. And that leads to the breakthrough at Quantropi around quantum-safe cybersecurity… quantum permutation matrices expressed as a linear algebra algorithm – what we call Quantum Entropy Expansion and Propagation or QEEP™.”

– Redding on quantum cybersecurity.

At some point, better and more complex algorithms simply won’t be enough. Quantum computing is changing the rules of the cybersecurity game. We need to change with it, or risk getting blown out.

Quantropi is bound to be the standard for next-generation cybersecurity – true quantum safety you can count on today, and Perfect Secrecy you can trust forever, no matter what the future network, or threat. Our patented technology expresses quantum mechanics algorithmically to encrypt data in transit – without requiring the processing power of a quantum computer. This unique capability makes ours the first company in the world to offer true, secure transport of quantum keys over today’s Internet, allowing users to exchange quantum-encrypted data using their own existing platforms.

Learn more here.

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Eric Chan

Eric Chan a.k.a. EEPMON is a Crypto / Digital Artist with 15 years in the industry – and Quantropi’s Creative Emissary. His hybrid fractal/digital creations have been seen in fashion, comics to museums and has exhibited worldwide. EEPMON’s collaborations include Canada Goose, MARVEL, Snoopy, Microsoft Xbox, Canada Science & Technology Museum and was a TEDx performing artist. In 2018 he represented Canada on its first Creative Industries Trade Mission led by Canada’s Minister of Heritage and serves on the Canadian Museums Association‘s Board of Directors. At the same time, he is currently completing his Master of Information Technology – Digital Media at Carleton University. 

Christopher McKenzie

With his extensive experience in software development and strong analytical skills, Chris can handle the entire end-to-end software development life cycle. Prior to Quantropi, he served as Director of Product Development at Sphyrna Security, Inc., where he managed the delivery of security compliance automation and data diode appliance products, and as Commercial Software Development Manager at Cord3, Inc., where he managed the development of an advanced data access policy management product. Chris graduated from Computer Science at Algonquin College and the Ottawa School of Arts in 1998. Read less

Dafu Lou

Dafu is Quantropi’s Director of engineering. Prior to Quantropi, he served as a technical leader at Irdeto, a world-leading provider of digital platform security software, where he was responsible for white-box cryptography, cloaked CA secure core, and iOS/android application protection services, among others. Prior to Irdeto, Dafu served as a senior software engineer at SecureNex Systems, where he led the implementation of an SSL-VPN solution and ECC-based secure data storage & PKI. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2009. Dafu is also a part-time professor, teaching VLSI, Cryptography and other subjects at uOttawa.

Pauline Arnold

As James Nguyen’s EA, Pauline Arnold brings more than 40 years of experience in complementary customer service and administrative roles. Prior to Quantropi, she served 20 years as Branch Manager and an assistant in investments, and over 20 years at Metropolitan Life Canada in various aspects of the insurance sector – assisting clients, management and colleagues to complete tasks, solve problems, address questions and achieve goals. She also worked part-time for Royal Lepage Performance for 5+ years as a receptionist & admin, and for 5 years was chair of the TKFG’s charity golf tournament.

Bond Vo

Bond Vo is the Business Analyst of Quantropi. Along with Quantropi, Bond has been dynamic in accordance with a fast and evolving startup environment and is responsible in a wide range of areas including market research, funding, and more involved in the controller roles to oversee day to day accounting operation as well as build financing models and budget to achieve company’s ultimate goals/objectives. Bond has applied best practices consistently and successfully supports equity, debt, and non-dilutive funding for Quantropi since joint the team. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce concentrated in Finance from Carleton University. Outside of his professional career, Bond also participated in volunteer for the Vietnamese Immigration Student Association (VISA) to help and support students as well as newcomers in Canada.

Tina Wang

Tina develops websites and participates in a range of different projects, using new frameworks for front-end UI, along with Vuejs, Angula, Beego, Ruby on Rails, and Electron. She developed Quantropi’s desktop CipherSpace application by integrating Electron, Webassembly and Go, to ensure a good user experience, as well as perfect operating system compatibility. She is also part of the dynamic and efficient QKD-NODE project team. Tina is always looking for new ways to increase her knowledge, improve her technological proficiency and enhance her strong execution and implementation skills. Prior to Quantropi, Tina served as a full-stack web developer at Sunny Future, where she maintained a WordPress home site and managed the release of new content for the company.

Nick Kuang

As VP Corporate Services, Nick plans, directs and coordinates a wide range of activities aimed at achieving Quantropi’s vision of the Quantum Internet. He has a keen interest in transformative technologies and the possibilities they offer for bettering our everyday lives. A pharmacist by training, Nick nurtures teams with a focus on integrity and collaborative effort, coupled with strong attention to detail. With prior experience in a successful biotech start-up developing point-of-care test kits, he enjoys the fast pace and challenge of the start-up environment.

Alex He

Alex is a product-oriented project manager who bridges the gaps between the company’s engineering and commercial teams. He has over ten years of experience in the analysis, design and development of enterprise-class applications, with a particular focus on creating optimal user experiences (UX). Ever passionate about cybersecurity solutions that can deliver solid security without unreasonably sacrificing customer convenience, Alex is the lead inventor of a registered patent on user interface security. He is committed to helping ensure that the Agile software engineering team at Quantropi delivers consistently high-quality, high crypto-agility cybersecurity solutions for next-generation communications.

Michael Redding

Before joining Quantropi, Mike was Managing Director and co-founder of Accenture Ventures, where he grew a global portfolio of strategic partnerships and 38 equity investments in emerging technology startups.

During his nearly 30 years with Accenture, he incubated and launched technology innovations for enterprises across multiple geographies and industries. Ever-passionate about bold ideas with game-changing results, he speaks frequently on the impact of emerging technology on large organizations.

With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, and a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern, Mike is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Accenture Foundation and Board Observer for startups Maana and Splice Machine.

Raj Narula, P.Eng.

Raj is a seasoned technology executive who has worked with companies as an advisor, business builder and active angel investor. Raj is a seasoned technology executive who has worked with companies as an advisor, business builder and active angel investor. He has held operational and advisory roles in Recognia (Trading Central ), Belair Networks ( Ericsson) , March Networks ( Infinova) , Sandvine ( Procera ), Neurolanguage ( ADEC) ,Bridgewater Systems (Amdocs), Vayyoo ( Cafex ) TenXc ( CCI ),1Mobility ( Qualys ) and others. He has been dividing his time between North America, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific region for over 20 years and speaks multiple languages. He grew up in Asia, Europe, South America and Canada. Raj is also the co-founder and Charter Member of the Ottawa chapter of TiE (the Indus Entrepreneur). Raj holds a B.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Ken Dobell

Ken leads marketing strategy at Quantropi. In high demand as a consultant with 25 years’ experience in performance media and an award- winning creative background, he has completed successful transformations, (re)branding and product development mandates with KPMG, Keurig, Fidelity, Eddyfi, Coveo, and more, and provides digital advice to the CMA. Previously, Ken pivoted an offline advertising brokerage to a leading-edge, data-driven performance agency as President of DAC Digital, held a progression of international leadership roles with Monster.com, pioneered a range of multi-channel initiatives as VP Marketing with a global franchisor, and introduced a mobile-first programmatic media offering to Canada within WPP.

Cory Michalyshyn

Cory brings a breadth of experience to the Quantropi team, working fractionally with multiple SaaS technology companies as CFO, and as the CFO with Celtic House Venture Partners. Prior to these roles, Cory was CFO and COO at Solink, and played a lead role in the metrics-led pivot to a direct-sales SaaS model, followed by multiple VC-backed funding rounds and their recognition as one of the fastest growing start-ups in Canada. He qualified as a CPA while serving technology, VC & PE-fund clients at Deloitte, and earned his Bachelor of Commerce at Queen’s University.

Dr. Randy Kuang

Randy holds a doctorate in quantum physics. His research findings have been published in top international journals and named “Kuang’s semi-classical formalism” by NASA in 2012. With a career spanning IT, including with Nortel as senior network researcher & developer, he co-founded inBay Technologies in 2009, serving as CTO of the cybersecurity platform. As the first recipient of a patent for two-level authentication (2011), Randy is a prolific inventor, with 30+ U.S. patents in broad technology fields, such as WiMAX, optical networks, multi-factor identity authentication, transaction authorization, as well as concepts, technologies and industrial applications for quantum key distribution.

James Nguyen

Prior to leading Quantropi, James was Chief Investment Officer & VP Asia Operations for a group of private and public real estate, mining, energy storage, graphene technologies and manufacturing interests, where, in his responsibilities for strategy, banking and global expansions, he secured large-scale investments and partnerships for commercializing graphene applications across multiple industries. A graduate of Carleton in Economics, he previously achieved success managing a mid-market portfolio (professional services, public sector, Asian markets) at RBC for over a decade. James has been on the HKCBA board, held advisory positions with technology start-ups and gives back as volunteer, fundraiser and mentor.