Updated: Jul 13
As one of the first to sound the alarm for the threats posed by quantum computing and encryption-breaking software to the United States' cyber security industry, I have dedicated myself to raising awareness about these risks, even when they seemed far-fetched to others. Throughout my extensive involvement in quantum computing since its inception, I have gained invaluable insights into its capabilities and the potential for nation-states to exploit it, disrupting global power structures. The rapid adoption of digital systems in America underscores the need to fully understand the role of quantum computing in breaking encryption. In this post, we will explore how quantum computing can break encryption and dive into the profound implications it holds for digital privacy.
Understanding Quantum Computing:
To comprehend the game-changing implications of quantum computing, we need to grasp the fundamental difference between classical and quantum computing. Traditional computers, built on bits representing 0 or 1, process information sequentially. Quantum computers, on the other hand, leverage quantum bits or qubits that can exist in a superposition of states, enabling parallel computations and exponentially increasing processing power. Think of a quantum computer as a turbocharger engine versus a traditional one. This computational turbocharger allows quantum computers to process far more data and quadrillions more calculations per second than the fastest classical supercomputer. This presents an immediate threat to our encrypted systems because this computational capability provides the horsepower needed to run software that can both factor or find the unlock key for today's encryption.
The Threat to Encryption:
Encryption, the bedrock of secure communication and data storage, relies on intricate mathematical problems that classical computers cannot solve within a reasonable timeframe. However, the emergence of quantum computers poses an immediate threat to this security through the concept of "quantum supremacy." Quantum supremacy is achieved when a quantum computer can perform calculations that would take classical computers countless years to complete. Quantum computers are meticulously optimized to excel in mass factoring calculations, utilizing specialized software that can use either brute-force encryption by factoring incredibly large numbers or exploit weaknesses in math-based encryption's random number generator. This enables quantum computers to cycle through all possible encryption keys at an astonishing rate of millions of quadrillions of calculations per second. In contrast, the world's fastest supercomputer can only achieve 1000 petaflops or 1000 quadrillions of calculations per second. The turbocharged speed of quantum computers, depending on the number of qubits, exponentially accelerates calculations by millions of quadrillions of calculations per second, rendering today's most fortified math-based encryption vulnerable.
Quantum Supremacy and Cryptographic Algorithms:
Quantum computing poses a significant threat to widely used cryptographic algorithms, such as RSA and ECC, which rely on the difficulty of factoring large numbers. Shor's algorithm, for instance, can effectively factor large numbers and break RSA encryption when executed on a quantum computer. This concern is further amplified as rogue nation-states leverage sophisticated software that harnesses the speed of quantum computers & AI to decrypt math-based encrypted data rapidly. The urgency to defend against this threat has prompted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the United States Government to rapidly deploy candidate algorithms from various sectors. However, the failure of leading post-quantum algorithms like SIKE and CRYSTALS-Kyber underscores the profound challenges in protecting our nation's data.
In the current cryptography landscape, all end-of-life algorithms, including AES, SIKE, and CRYSTALS-Kyber, share a common vulnerability—they rely on "math" in the form of long keys to ensure security. Unfortunately, we have reached a point where traditional mathematical methods can no longer guarantee data protection, considering the immense power of quantum computers coupled with AI and advanced software. As we examine the post-quantum security market, it becomes evident that the quantum-resilient and quantum-safe math-based encryption algorithms are falling short. We genuinely need a shift towards physical-based security that can offer verifiable guarantees, demonstratable security, and a physical process that can be verifiably secure by a function of the security process. Today, only one data security solution falls into the category of "quantum-secure™," signifying their ability to be verifiably secure. That's Secured2! Notably, no math-based encryption standard has ever been able to provide a conclusive mathematical proof of its security, whereas Secured2 can!
Implications and Challenges:
While quantum computing holds tremendous potential for various scientific and technological advancements, its impact on data security is an immediate concern. The widespread adoption of quantum computing without adequate countermeasures results in the compromised integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information, including personal data, financial transactions, and government/military communications. Especially, during a time of intense geopolitical saber rattling.
Collaborative Efforts and Security Standards:
The battle to ensure robust encryption in the face of quantum computing requires a collaborative approach. Governments, academia, and small companies must come together to present immediate solutions. Initiatives like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization project are a step in the right direction. However, the process is slow, encumbered by red tape, and uses failed technological concepts. However, in a time of trouble, our Government doesn't have time for the status quo, it needs to immediately engage with smaller companies with confirmed solutions that can rapidly be deployed to protect our nation. To not do this is to put our country at risk! Our country needs to be quantum-secure and not quantum-vulnerable like it is now.
As quantum computing advances at an unprecedented pace, its ability to break encryption algorithms poses a significant challenge to cybersecurity. At the same time, the quantum threat may seem daunting, with a lot of product confusion and failed solutions. One solution has been in the market for over six years, customer-tested, validated, and ready to protect our nation. The Secured2 QuantaMorphic® data protection solution indemnifies customers against a data breach with an industry-leading indemnification warranty. Embracing the future of quantum-secure™ encryption is crucial to safeguarding our digital world and protecting sensitive information from quantum adversaries.
Remember to share this blog post with your peers and join the discussion on the implications of quantum computing for data security. Stay informed and stay ahead in the age of quantum computing at www.secured2.com!