By Martin Lee.
Quantum technology in development by the world’s superpowers will render many current encryption algorithms obsolete overnight. When it becomes available, whoever controls this technology will be able to read almost any encrypted data or message they wish.
Organizations need to take note that this technology is likely to be developed within the coming years. Senior managers responsible for information security should take stock of the encryption algorithms in use within their systems and plan their move to quantum-secure algorithms.
The AES-256 encryption algorithm is predicted to be quantum secure, as are the SHA-384 and SHA-512 hashing algorithms. As an interim solution, organizations should increase the key lengths of public-key algorithms to a minimum of 3,072 bits, to protect against attacks.
Systems under development should be designed to implement AES-256, and to have the capability to swap out encryption algorithms if weaknesses are discovered, or more secure algorithms become available.
Quantum computers already exist as proof-of-concept systems. For the moment, none are powerful enough to crack current encryption, but the private and public sectors are investing billions of dollars globally to create these powerful systems that will revolutionize computing.
Although nobody knows when a powerful quantum computer will be available, we can predict the