Cryptography helps us secure our data by only allowing people and companies we trust access it safely, but quantum computers could defeat many encryption methods.
Researchers are devising new means of encryption and data security. Their goal is to produce standardizable solutions that may take time before becoming widely available – yet should help protect against any attacks from quantum computers.
Quantum computing poses an immediate and serious threat to data security. Current encryption methods are near-impossible for regular computers to break; however, quantum computers could easily and swiftly do just that, placing vital information at risk.
There are new methods available for protecting data against threats before they become reality, but these techniques have yet to become widely used. These may protect crucial files while speeding up quantum computers’ attempts at breaking encryption schemes.
As a first step, businesses should conduct a data security audit. This will provide them with insight into what data exists within the organisation, where it’s stored and which encryption method(s) are being employed – as well as help them assess whether additional layers of encryption need to be put in place for their most sensitive assets.
Encryption is one of the key tools for protecting sensitive information and data against cyberattacks. Encryption blocks attackers from accessing and stealing this data while providing organizations with a means to track and audit any activity within their networks.
Quantum cryptography works on the principle that keys can be distributed over long distances using polarized photons with random quantum states, making eavesdroppers incapable of understanding how they will appear when sent down a cable and therefore not breaching security through man-in-the-middle attacks.
Companies are taking steps to defend against quantum computer attacks by switching over to post-quantum cryptography (PQC). NIST has selected several algorithms from PQC as part of its standard. But planning this shift requires significant resources and time.
As quantum computing threatens to crack existing encryption methods, security experts and governments have been hard at work creating new algorithms to safeguard data. While waiting for these technologies to develop fully, organizations must have a comprehensive security strategy in place and plan in place.
Organizations should assess which data are at risk and the cryptography used to protect it, to help decide where to prioritize post-quantum cryptography deployments. This will enable organizations to take an incremental approach in rolling out post-quantum technologies.
Researchers are working on creating more secure methods of transmitting key messages using quantum entanglement technology known as QKD. By employing fiber optic cables with trusted relay nodes as repeaters and satellites that transmit photons through the air, this technology provides secure communications of encrypted messages.
Quantum computing’s most obvious risk lies in its potential to break cryptographic algorithms and compromise digital security systems – with potentially serious repercussions for financial stability and privacy.
Modern cryptography utilizing symmetric keys, asymmetric keys (commonly referred to as public keys), and hash functions employs complex algorithms for encryption and decryption purposes. While traditional computers may find these methods challenging, quantum computers can rapidly solve the equations necessary for decrypting messages much more efficiently than classical ones can.
RSA public-key cryptography, one of the most prevalent encryption systems, is particularly vulnerable due to its dependence on factorization – an intricate math problem which digital computers cannot reliably solve within reasonable amounts of time. If quantum computers were capable of solving it more rapidly than expected, RSA public-key cryptography would become obsolete and unusable.
Government agencies and critical infrastructure industries are taking measures to reduce this risk by adopting quantum-resistant cryptography today. A recent survey found that 33% of organizations already have post-quantum cryptography budgets in place while 56% plan to set them up soon.