Quantum computers not only have the potential to vastly increase computational power, but they also pose a significant risk to current security and cryptography systems, according to Eindhoven University of Technology Professor Dr. Tanja Lange.
Cryptography, which ensures privacy and security in various data transactions, could be compromised if quantum computing becomes more advanced. This could lead to increased spying, data manipulation, and the potential for manipulating conversations.
In an effort to raise awareness about cybersecurity and spur action, Lange participated in a podcast hosted by Chelpis Quantum Safe Migration Center Director Matthias J. Kannwischer.
Cryptography, which underlies many apps and web browsers, plays a crucial role in maintaining privacy and security in everyday life. It ensures the privacy of SMS messages, safe web surfing, secure online banking, and even ATM transactions. Losing cryptography protection would significantly impact these data transactions that we currently take for granted.
While quantum computing is still in its early stages, there is already concern about the threat of “harvest now, decrypt later.” Hackers and state-sponsored actors are actively collecting data using supercomputers for future use.
To address the threat, cryptographers have been developing post-quantum safe cryptography standards since 2008. These standards fall into four major categories: code-based, isogenies, lattice-based, and multivariate-quadratic. Each category becomes more complex and advanced.
Security companies are actively engaged in migrating to post-quantum computing to enhance security before the arrival of quantum computers. Nations are also implementing standards and licensing to ensure optimal cybersecurity. The United States, for example, has set a timeline of 2033 for businesses working with the government to implement post-quantum security measures.
Europe, through the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), has similar standards in place, although cybersecurity decisions remain the responsibility of individual countries. France, for instance, is working on a certification system for post-quantum cryptography.
In conclusion, the advent of quantum computing poses significant threats to security and cryptography systems. However, efforts are underway to develop post-quantum safe cryptography standards and enhance cybersecurity measures.
Sources: Eindhoven University of Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)