Cybersecurity is one of the top priorities of governments and businesses. A breach in security can lead to millions of dollars of revenue loss and endanger the safety and security of a country. Several technologies have been developed to protect data from cyber attacks, and one of the most important developments is ‘Quantum Computing'.
WHAT IS QUANTUM COMPUTING?
Unlike the digital computers that encode data in binary form (0 or 1), Quantum computers process data in quantum bits or qubits. These more complex codes can have two or more values, and can even be differentiated contextually or in the way it was positioned or used. This leads to massive computing power.
HOW CAN QUANTUM COMPUTING IMPROVE SECURITY?
First of all, quantum computing is much faster. It can quickly do highly complicated mathematical problems, which means it can tackle programming challenges by sheer brute force. Even in situations with several probabilities, it will wade through each one until it reaches a solution. Since it is so fast – faster than most people can even imagine – a problem that would have taken millions of years to solve can now be fixed in just seconds. Yes, even shorter than the time it would take to read this paragraph.
Of course, hackers can use this speed to destroy the system. That is why it's important for organizations to use this technology – if only to be able to fight fire with fire.
Second of all, quantum computing uses distribution functions that securely and efficiently share cryptographic keys between remote parties. This opens a whole new world of possibilities for data transformation operations that would never have been possible in the information processing tools we had at our disposal. Even a single feature such as better random number generation can be a game-changer in the industry.
Thirdly, the nature, cost, and availability of quantum computing mean that it is easily obtained or used by hacktivists and cybercriminals. Large governments and corporations do have access to this breakthrough technology, which gives them an edge over a rebel who is trying to break the system.
QUANTUM COMPUTING AND SECURE CRYPTOCURRENCY
It is safe to assume that cryptocurrency will always be a prime target for cyber terrorists. It needs to be guarded against attack and misuse. Quantum computing enables organizations to run Shor's algorithm – recognized as the most complicated quantum algorithm known today – which in turn allows one to factorize large prime numbers for even harder-to-penetrate algorithms. These are essentially impenetrable by code breaking. (You could say they're the digital world's equivalent to The Great Wall.)
In fact, the banks in Switzerland, which are known to protect huge amounts of money, is investing in quantum computing and random numbers. It is expected that even more banks and governments will be looking into this technology to develop systems that protect both information and currency from cyber attacks. Expect to hear more about how quantum computing changes cybersecurity in the next few years.