Scared of a quantum attack? I’ve got just the thing
Given the speed at which quantum technology is currently advancing, you’d be forgiven for feeling a bit like a deer in headlights right now. In fact, most people who are fully aware of the developments being made in the realm of quantum computing are equal parts excited and terrified of their potential applications.
I’ve been doing some digging and (thank God) I have found a solution that seems like it will alleviate one of the biggest concerns surrounding the negative implications of quantum computing: cyber security.
So, not one to keep good news (or bad, for that matter) to myself, I’m here to share it!
What IS Quantum Technology?
I’m gone make this quick because, quite frankly, if you aren’t familiar with quantum technology, I’m not sure you’d be reading this article.
BUT just in case you’re here to scare the bebeerus out of yourself (why would you do such a thing?!) I’ll pop in a quick definition of quantum technology for ya.
Quantum technology is the application of quantum physics (the scientific study of subatomic particles) in technology. The major principles applied are known as ‘superposition’ and ‘entanglement’. It sounds complicated, but don’t worry, even most of the scientists actually developing quantum technology don’t fully understand how it all works, so you don’t need to either!
Quantum computing (another term you’ll hear me use throughout this article) is simply the application of quantum technology in building a special kind of computer known as a quantum computer. Now, these are called computers, but they neither look nor act anything like the kind of computer you might be used to. They’re enormous, for starters, and until recently they all had to be stored at -270 degrees. Where they are a bit computer-like is in their ability to solve problems. The primary difference here is that they can solve said problems more than one hundred million times quicker than a normal computer. I’m not kidding.
The ‘Quantum Speed Up’
Onto the previously mentioned developments in quantum computing.
Back in 2019, The Global Risk Institute tried to plan the exact arrival of what many are calling the “quantum threat” (i.e. the point at which quantum will break all known encryption techniques and essentially make the internet explode). They asked academics when they thought the quantum threat would arrive, and most of them thought we still had at least 15 years to go.
So we’re chill, right? No need to worry for at least another 12 years yet?
Thanks to immense investment from organizations and investors worldwide, including giants such as Google and IBM, our application of qubits (the little subatomic particles quantum computers use to run) is becoming more and more advanced.
More qubits = more processing power (and less errors), so the majority of developments are focused on building quantum computers with more qubits. When we first started talking quantum computers a few years ago, they ran on around 50 qubits. Now, companies like IBM and Honeywell are moving so fast they’re doubling the number of qubits in their machines around every 6-8 months – a trajectory that would lead to a 10,000+ qubit quantum computer within a decade.
So basically, we’re moving pretty damn fast. And this means the quantum threat is coming fast, too.
Now we’re onto the good bit.
As you might expect, organizations with huge security implications (including the US, UK and Japanese governments) are already overhauling their cyber security techniques to prepare for the quantum threat. AND they’re all using the same product to do so. Luckily, it’s not a ‘government only’ product. It’s actually available for any business or large organization to purchase.
The product is called Quantum Cloud™ and it belongs to a company called Arqit.
So how does it work?
Put simply, Quantum Cloud™ installs an application on whatever devices you choose to equip. This application then encrypts any data coming in or going out of that device using a foolproof method known as ‘quantum encryption’. Arqit is the first company to bring out a genuine quantum encryption method, and Quantum Cloud™ is the only product about that is genuinely 100% quantum-proof. A bit of a monopoly, I know, but better one solution than none, right?!
If you want to find out more about Arqit or Quantum Cloud™, I’d recommend taking a good look at their website.