Time has a way of changing things and the cyber world is not left unscathed by this fact. New cyber threats will present themselves that require new solutions to handle these threats to be created. For the cybersecurity industry, quantum computers may be the largest initial cybersecurity issue that professionals will have to contend with. However, the solution for this threat rests in quantum encryption.
The advent of quantum computers created a major issue with their ability to crack high-entropy keys used by some of the strongest encryption currently in use. Quantum computers can quickly determine the long prime numbers used to generate high-entropy keys. The solution? Quantum encryption, or, more specifically, quantum key distribution (QKD). The process of how QKD works can be a bit of a challenge to understand but it basically revolves around one fact, measuring the state of a photon will change the photon’s state. When a QKD sender transmits a photon to a receiving unit, a quantum property is applied to it that determines if the photon will represent a zero or a one in binary code that can only be seen at the moment they are measured or observed. Once this happens, the photons collapse to a fixed state and cannot be re-transmitted. What does this mean in layman’s terms? It means that if information sent from the transmitter to the receiver that is encrypted with QKD is intercepted by a third party, the receiver will know because they will only receive meaningless data, letting them know that the information has been intercepted by unauthorized parties. While government agencies and financial institutions in the UK and the U.S. have been using quantum encryption technology for about a decade, commercialization of the technology is estimated to be ready for public use around 2023. However, when the technology is readily available, it should be well worth the wait.
Additional Industry Standards and Regulations
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have reviewed a selection of potential encryption tools and have found several candidates for their Post-Quantum Cryptography Standardization project. IT providers who work with the DOD are already required to comply with several standards. These government-based adaptations of the technology are a good testing ground for the future commercial market.
Quantum Encryption Certification
While quantum computing and quantum encryption might still be in their infancy, organizations offering training and certifications for quantum computing and encryption are plentiful. Finding a reputable organization for those interested in pursuing such certifications should not be overly challenging. This also means a large number of opportunities for anyone interested in entering this field.
While quantum computing can reduce the amount of time needed for complex computer functions needed to advance research in many medical and scientific fields, it also provides a tool for those with less noble goals. With more research, quantum encryption and similar technologies could be the answer to preventing access to your information in the age of quantum computing.
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