Quantum cyberattacks: Preparing your organization for the unknown

Quantum computing days are coming

Quantum computing has been a buzzword for several years. And while it’s still the early days, several industries have been showing progress, and 2020 brought a slate of new developments. As the technology inches closer to real-world applications, some leading companies are preparing for another future reality: quantum cyberattacks.  

What are quantum cyberattacks?

A quantum cyberattack means a sophisticated attack that uses quantum computing to do things like break the strongest encryption or quickly analyze massive amounts of data sets to infect a large number of networks with malware.

Quantum computers, while still in development, rely on the principles of quantum physics to tackle computational problems that classical computers can’t. Traditional computers represent data in the binary values of either 1 or 0. Quantum computing uses qubits (quantum bits), which could superimpose the ones and the zeros — in other words, store or represent the bits simultaneously.

In cryptography, as an example, the popular public-key cryptosystem RSA’s algorithms rely on prime factorization to achieve asymmetric encryption using key sizes of 1,024 bits. The secret key is a set of large prime numbers, and factoring prime numbers would be extremely time-consuming for classical computing systems.

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