“Quantum encryption is essential to protect our digital assets and infrastructure from attackers.”
― Kevin Coleman, Chief Strategist at Independent Software.
Quantum computing is an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionize medical research, Artificial Intelligence (AI), weather forecasting, and many more domains in this dynamic world we live in. While this technology brings in a new dawn, how will it change how we work and live? How can businesses adopt it to grow and simultaneously ward off risks, if any?
To identify answers to these questions, we need to get to the core of quantum computing. Initially computers operated under binary domain with zeros and ones as the inputs whereas they currently accept a set of inputs and one calculation at a time. Advanced computers functioning with quantum computing take zeros and ones as qubits storing values of zeros and ones at the same time. Quantum computing is a helpful tool for businesses as it resolves business challenges rapidly by saving up on energy and time. It is potentially believed to be the best solution to tackle several difficulties in business.
Traditional encryption strategies incorporate use of large prime numbers. Quantum computing is believed to be able to parse such complex data much quicker, whereas the same is very difficult for present-day computers to crack. However, the same boons of quantum computing could pose risks too.
The impact of quantum computing on cybersecurity
Authorities vouch that quantum computing will transform businesses, especially finance and cybersecurity. As quantum computing is not very mainstream at present and is just evolving, businesses have to be ready to adapt to quantum computing and cope with its implications.
In traditional encryption methods incorporated by businesses as their cybersecurity strategies, larger prime numbers are used. Present-day computers find it difficult to crack these numbers, so quantum-resistant encryption algorithms are needed to avoid breaches in the business world.
Opportunities of quantum computing in cybersecurity
Quantum computing has innumerable potential applications due to faster processors that save up on energy and time. Most cryptographic algorithms are broken using fast computing quantum techniques. This has urged companies across the globe to build quantum applications to solve most issues.
Qubits involved in quantum computing decrypt via faster processes and the number of qubits required are massive. Quantum computing has four impacts on cybersecurity as follows. Here are a few ways how quantum computing is used in cybersecurity;
i) Quantum number in cryptography:
Randomness or entropy is key to enhanced cryptography as it is used to develop session keys. So as random as the numbers are, the cryptographic system is more secure. Generating true randomness poses a big challenge as today’s systems use pseudo-random number generation. This is why for genuine entropy; cryptographers are turning to quantum random number generation (QRNG). These systems exploit principles of quantum physics to yield truly random numbers that offer greater resistance.
ii) Quantum Key Distribution (QKD):
Encrypted data sent between two private connections should be secure. To send secure communication between two private users, Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) strategies use the encryption keys and also alerts the presence of an eavesdropper.
iii) Quantum computing breaking RSA algorithm:
Traditional computing methods take trillions of years to break an RSA encryption. A quantum computer can break the RSA with around 4,000 error-free qubits and it requires around a million qubits to defeat the encryption. Sensitive national data can be secured safely via quantum computers as only the latter can easily decrypt it.
iv) Machine learning revolution in cybersecurity:
Quantum machine learning enables fast learning and more energy and time-saving in machine learning algorithms. Quantum machine learning yields more advanced algorithms for identifying and solving cyber attacks.
Risks of quantum computing in cybersecurity
The vital part of switching to quantum computers is the risk of cryptographic encryption. The algorithms are easily broken in quantum computers, also the encryption and decryption don’t hold up much longer in a quantum environment.
The cryptography environment is always a combination of encryption and decryption keys. If data has to be decrypted, a key or code needs to crack the data. The longer the key takes time to crack with, more secure the data is.
Even if more secure is your data without few possibilities to crack your file, nobody can stop someone to decrypt the data. In the world of quantum computers, the data can be easily cracked and it may cost software flaws, access misuse, and other problems for the companies. As quantum computers allow more efficient algorithms, the hackers have the opportunity to crack the secured data.
The Quantum future
Quantum computers are creating a big revolution in the technical world. Even though there are a lot of positives around quantum computing, data security may be a little riskier under the quantum age as it is easier to decrypt data using quantum computers. Every organization must plan and think about quantum computing and be prepared to face risks and threats.
Stay updated on latest in the Quantum Computing domain with the Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CCoE)
The Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CCoE) is a global hub based in Hyderabad to catalyse innovation, entrepreneurship and capability building in cyber security and privacy. It is a joint initiative of the Government of Telangana and DSCI set up to fulfil DSCI’s commitment towards creating a safe, secure and a trusted cyberspace. Our objective is to build best practices, standards and execute initiatives in cyber security and privacy domain. We nurture a culture of innovation by, incubating start-ups, conducting trainings/workshops/events, showcasing products in experience zone, hosting delegations and collaborating in local, national and international initiatives.
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