A hybrid approach and risks to security — quantum computing predictions for 2023
Quantum computers hold the promise of much faster processing speeds, but are still widely viewed as a commercial proposition in the future. It can boost machine learning and AI, and unlock the power of unstructured data.
Of course, quantum also comes with security challenges thanks to its potential to crack passwords and break encryption. Here’s what industry experts expect to see happen in the quantum world in 2023.
Bob Sutor, vice president and chief quantum counsel at ColdQuanta, thinks there are synergies between quantum and machine learning. “Machine learning will be used to optimize the performance of quantum sensors, while quantum sensors will enable new classes of machine learning algorithms for discovery within, and adaptation to, the sensors’ environment. Very different from the big data applications of machine learning and quantum computing, machine learning coupled with quantum sensing will bring about new capabilities in real-time sensing and signal processing.”
Armis CISO Curtis Simpson thinks businesses will start taking quantum computing more seriously. “Quantum computing could be the next atomic bomb, and as the race continues to heat up, the good guys won’t be able to keep up if they don’t develop meaningful strategies now. Our current encryption methods are based on conventional models of computer architecture and will likely lose their effectiveness as quantum computing our ways of securing data are literally unraveling. Bad actors — from organized criminals to nation-states — will seek to harness the power of quantum computing to devastating implications. While we’re still five to 10 years away, we’re now beginning to realize the potential of this technology noticed, and it’s important for businesses to ensure they take security seriously today.”
Brian Neuhaus, CTO, Americas at Vectra, worries that encrypted data now stolen could be stored for use in a post-quantum world. “It’s easy to know the motive of a cyber attack in incidents like ransomware, but what about the incidents we don’t detect, or involve data we’re assured is safe to decrypt? Advances in quantum computing will help security forces leaders in 2023 to start thinking about this sensitive encrypted data in a post-quantum world.However, this approach will also attract the attention of attackers, and instead of bypassing previously secured encrypted data, they will try to to grab data and keep it stored for sale or to be decrypted later. Defenders should not rest on the laurels of encryption and start taking note of what NIST is doing in post-quantum encryption this year for action in the years to come.”
Silvio Pappalardo, chief revenue officer at QuintessenceLabs, echoes this view. “Quantum computing may be five to 10 years away, but the risk of quantum exists today. We already see most major cloud providers have market-ready ‘quantum-as-a-service’ tools, but this is not enough. This organizations and others must have full quantum encryption in place to be secure in the next generation of computing.”
Fred Rivain, CEO of Dashlane, suggests that a quantum future is closer than we think. “The quantum domain is evolving rapidly, and a breakthrough is on the horizon. As this technology accelerates, the infrastructure security and cryptographic algorithms used to secure the Internet are at stake. It is critical for businesses and organizations to now to start preparing this world. Organizations will need to be adept at supporting both types of cryptography simultaneously and managing the transition from pre-quantum to post-quantum algorithms — our team at Dashlane is working on this, and we recently prototyped quantum files sharing in our Android app. and web extension. We’ll share additional learnings along the way and encourage organizations to check out our open source project to test how well they can migrate to post-quantum cryptography with real-world conditions.”
Matt Watts, chief evangelist at NetApp, believes a hybrid approach will make quantum more accessible. “Quantum hybrid computing will begin to move from ideas to practical application, problems such as elements of AI will be broken out and transferred to quantum systems for processing, we will begin to see a mix of traditional HPC and Quantum around some of these most complex issues. It will also forcing us to better address cybersecurity. Companies need to think about data encryption now more than ever. Bad actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and companies need to be equally sophisticated when it comes to their security measures. While this won’t happen overnight, the wheels are set in motion for quantum to be a threat to encryption on sensitive data. For example, imagine designing and building a military fighter jet, which can take more than a decade. Then it is in service for 20 year and all the data related to the plane and its missions remain classified for another 20 years. That data must be protected for more than 50 years. And a bad actor only need to steal that data once during that extended time frame and wait for the necessary Quantum power to decrypt to catch up. We need to think much, much more carefully about how we protect data today, from simple data theft to more advanced types of encryption and decryption techniques. Normal computers, even high-powered computers, will take decades to ‘break’ these encryption algorithms. Quantum will be able to break many existing forms of encryption in less than a decade, so new encryption protocols and algorithms must be adopted sooner. While I predicted that companies will look to quantum to address more complex computing challenges in 2022, I’m glad there is this level of progress and forward thinking in cybersecurity and a cloud-based approach to solving security issues that once seemed intractable. “
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