Modern public key encryption is good enough to meet enterprise requirements, experts say.
Most cyber attacks are targeting different parts of the security stack nowadays – unintentional users in particular. Still, this solid building block of modern computer technology is about to be eroded by the emergence of quantum computers within the next decade, according to experts.
"About 99% of online encryption is vulnerable to quantum computing," said Mark Jackson, a research scientist for Cambridge Quantum Computing, Inside the quantum technology conference in Boston on Wednesday.
Quantum computers – those that use the principles of quantum interlace and superposition to present information instead of electric bits – are capable of performing certain types of calculations faster than conventional electronic computers.
In 2019, they are more or less extreme technologies, but their development has accelerated in recent years, and experts at the IQT conference say a jump in deployment may occur as early as 2024.
Lawrence Gasman, president of IQT, compares the current state of quantum computer development with that of optical networks in the 1980s – a technology with many promises, but one or two key figures are missing.
"Optical amplifiers were what became optically networked," he said. "Without them they would never really become what they are today."
Clean research, the military and the financial sector are the main driving forces behind quantum computations in general and, in particular, quantum security, according to Gasman. The latter, in particular, was an enthusiastic early technology maker.
"If you look at how much money is lost for credit card fraud, it's a huge driver," he said.
It will be necessary to switch to different types of classical encryption – some algorithms have proven their resistance to quantum computing – or quantum computing security.
Quantum computing security technology is effective because it relies on two of the most famous properties of quantum physics – the idea that particle sighting changes its behavior, and that paired or "entangled" particles have the same set of properties as the other,
This in essence means that both sides of the message can share an identical encryption key, thanks to quantum entanglement. Moreover, if a third party tries to listen to this sharing, it will break the symmetry of the tangled couples and it will be immediately obvious that something is happening.
"If everything works perfectly, everything should be in sync. But if something goes wrong, it means you will see a mismatch, "Jackson said.
It's like a soap bubble, according to Brian Lowe, vice president of ID Quanque SA, based in Switzerland, a quantum computer vendor to get involved with him and he appears.
"At some point, you'll have to consider the factor [quantum computing]He said, noting that even now bad actors can download encrypted information now, planning to destroy his defense after quantum computing is equal to the task.
The exact switching day will vary depending on the industry, according to Paul Luser, vice president of sales and business development at Isara's quantum security provider.
Devices that have a short lifetime as smartphones are not in immediate danger as quantum security technology must be sufficiently miniaturized from the time when quantum encoding is powerful enough to undermine modern encryption with a public key.
These are verticals such as the automotive industry and the infrastructure sector that should worry, said Lucyre. Everything that has a long service life and everything that is expensive to repair and replace is potentially vulnerable.
This does not mean it's time to break away and replace it immediately. It is expected that the standards bodies will approve quantum-safe encryption algorithms at approximately the same time when experts predict that quantum-feeding decryption threatens modern security so a hybrid approach is possible.
But the threat is very real, so much that The law on the national quantum initiative became law in December last year. The law requires that formal advisory groups be formed by the executive and direct the funding of research to further research on quantum computing technologies.
So be prepared, all IQT conference experts agreed.
"We think that by 2026, if you are not ready with the systems you have prepared, you take a gigantic risk," Luser said.