Prepare today for the quantum threats of tomorrow.

With all the grand speculation and hype tied to quantum computing, the technology seems more like it belongs in the realm of science fiction rather than your daily tech newsfeed. But this isn’t science fiction. Tech companies around the world are racing to bring quantum computers into the mainstream of business processes to unlock new capabilities, services, and revenue models.
However, as quantum computers are beginning to gain traction and soon will be moving out of R&D environments, government agencies and security experts are already sounding the alarm for the potential harm such breakthrough technology could be capable of wreaking in the area of data security.
A quantum computer is based on the superposition principle — that a qubit (a bit in a quantum computer) can exist in the state of a 0, a 1, or both states at once. Today, the largest publicly available quantum computer from IBM Q (an IBM initiative to build quantum computers for business and science) has 20 qubits — so it can exist in 220 or just over a million states at once. When technologists double this to 40 qubits, that becomes just over a trillion states at once. This could be a powerful tool for breaking data encryption; instead of trying one combination at a time sequentially, the quantum computer can try a very large number at the same time. Experts suggest that a computer with 2,000 to 4,000 qubits would be enough to defeat conventional strong encryption standards within a reasonable time.

Today’s largest publicly available computer from IBM: IBM’s Q System One, a 20-qubit machine, was on display at IBM’s THINK Conference in San Francisco this February. It is shown here without the cooling required to get it to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. Source: SecurityFirst

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Author: Pankaj Parekh Chief Product & Strategy Officer at SecurityFirst

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