Quantum computing is a revolutionary technology that promises to bring about a colossal increase in computing power. Although it is a difficult phenomenon to explain, it can be thought of as a way to harness the quantum-physical properties of nature to perform computations. Classical computers use digital-electronics which rely on discrete and deterministic electrical signals of 1s and 0s and electronic-charge flows in circuitry to perform computations. By contrast, quantum computers use quantum-mechanical properties of matter at the atomic scale or photons of light to conduct computations. In essence, quantum computing is a new paradigm that has the potential to revolutionise the way we process information and solve problems. For instance, in Jul-2023, Google announced that it has developed a quantum computer that can instantly make calculations that would take the best classical supercomputers 47 YEARS.

Comparative table of quantum cybersecurity initiatives

What About The Downside?

A recent article in the Financial Times titled “Time to get serious about the dangers of quantum computing” highlighted the challenges, opportunities, threats and implications of quantum computing. Quantum computers are still hard to build and use, but if/when they matured far enough, they could break the current encryption systems that protect data. Security experts warn of ‘Q-day’, when this might happen, and suggest adopting new quantum-proof encryption standards. The article also explored the geopolitics of quantum computing, as the heads of the Five Eyes spy agencies expressed their concerns about China’s activities in this field and urged the tech sector to be aware of the risks.

You can obtain more general background information about Quantum Computing from the Live-Science website, and also using this explainer from the FT.

Recent Publications About The Topic From The Finance Sector:

The UK finance sector advisory bodies identified quantum computing as a potential threat to the UK’s financial services sector. The industry warns that quantum computing could break the encryption used to protect the payment systems that underpin the entire sector, which could lead to market instability. Banking body UK Finance issued the warning in a new report published this week titled “IDENTIFYING AND MINIMISING THE RISKS POSED BY QUANTUM TECHNOLOGY”.  In tandem they also published a parallel report titled “IDENTIFYING AND SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED BY QUANTUM TECHNOLOGY” outlining the potential benefits of the technology.

In a similar vein Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, also released a recent report exploring the impact of quantum technologies.  The report, warns that quantum computers could break the encryption that protects sensitive data today, such as passwords, bank accounts, or personal information. This could enable criminals to access confidential information, steal money, or impersonate identities. To prevent this, the report urges the transition to post-quantum cryptography, which is resistant to quantum attacks.

If your organisation has recently been grappling with the topic of quantum computing and the risks it may pose to existing data security then please get in contact with CyberSolace to obtain some recommendations on how to prepare for a post quantum-computing era.

Click the button below to access the UK Finance report about the topic