Lightning fast quantum computers mean that we are in a new race to strengthen cybersecurity defences

Atomic series. Abstract concept of atom and quantum waves illustrated with fractal elements

Op-Ed Contributed to South China Morning Post:

Sonia Baxendale, President, CEO, Global Risk Institute & Dr. Michele Mosca, Co-Founder, President & CEO, evolutionQ

Quantum computers can break codes with astronomically fewer steps, posing a threat to the pillars of today’s cybersecurity defences

A new type of computer, based on quantum theory, is going to change the way that organisations deal with data in the future because it will allow them to solve some problems at an exponentially faster rate than traditional computers.

This will lead to a period of massive technology disruption and will create both new opportunities and risks.

While fault-tolerant quantum computers do not exist today, the development of one may be closer than we think – likely within 15 years. Once quantum computing becomes a reality, it will pose a threat to the very pillars of our cybersecurity infrastructure.

If we think hackers are too easily beating the system today, just imagine what will happen if they gain access to quantum computers before systems are quantum-resilient.

Today, public-key cryptography is used for securely exchanging information, protecting stored data, authenticating the origin and integrity of software and other information, and more. Cryptography matters because this is how all sensitive and confidential data and connected systems are protected.
This goes well beyond impacting the financial industry – just think about the potential impact on other industries such as telecommunications, aerospace, utilities, defence and medicine if they become vulnerable to cyberattacks.