Quantum Computing – What are the security implications?
It is often said that security is a tool to delay an event. The greater the delay is commonly associated with the greater degree of security afforded. Quantum Computing poses a direct threat to security infrastructure through reduction of time required for conducting attacks and indeed the capability of the attack.
Encryption standards that would previously have taken thousands of years may be broken by larger quantum computers in days, if not hours. Whilst Quantum Computers are not yet readily available, they will most likely be introduced along with the associated threats prior to the introduction of added security they may offer. One possible measure is Quantum Encryption, holding data in Qubits in a state that, if impacted by a threat agent, would alter the data completely similar to a hash.
We are reminded of the threat and lengths people or organisations will go to for development of such technology by studying documents leaked in 2014 by Edward Snowden. This event saw the leak of information created by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the USA to develop a Quantum Computing capability to target cryptography used by adversaries, The Penetrating Hard Targets project.
For an organisation to best prepare for the increased threat posed by these advances, it is recommended that they consider the following where applicable:
The time it takes a hacker to brute force your password in 2022
Table provided by Hive Systems (Are Your Passwords in the Green? (hivesystems.io))
V. (2022, January 1). Google’s Quantum Computer Is About 158 Million Times Faster Than the World’s Fastest Supercomputer. Medium. https://medium.com/predict/googles-quantum-computer-is-about-158-million-times-faster-than-the-world-s-fastest-supercomputer-36df56747f7f#:%7E:text=In%20200%20seconds%2C%20the%20machine%20performed%20a%20mathematically,million%20times%20faster%20than%20the%20world%E2%80%99s%20fastest%20supercomputer.
GreyB, T. (2022, March 30). Top 10 Quantum Computing Companies Researching in 2022. GreyB. https://www.greyb.com/quantum-computing-companies/
National Quantum Computing Centre. (2021, July 8). UKRI NQCC. https://www.nqcc.ac.uk/
Dickens, R. (2021, August 7). Quantum Computing: The Future of Cryptography | Encryption Consulting. Encryption Consulting | Encryption Consulting. https://encryptionconsulting.com/quantum-computing-the-future-of-cryptography/#:%7E:text=Since%20quantum%20computers%20can%20perform%20four%20calculations%20at,many%20huge%20issues%20for%20our%20modern%20encryption%20systems.