Rethinking cyber security for a quantum world.

Rethinking cyber security for a quantum world.

Quantum computers are more than just an abstract, academic concept.  They are quickly becoming real devices capable of solving real problems. We discussed the impending impact of quantum computing in our blog post titled “Will 2023 surpass all other milestones in computing history”.

One of the long-standing fears about the development of quantum computers has been their ability to break all current encryption algorithms. The prospect of all digital security ending is a real and grave concern.

Imagine a world where all online transactions are no longer safe and secure.  Where banks can not perform transactions over the internet.  Where your communications over WhatsApp are not private.  Where Tesla cannot guarantee the firmware they upload to your car – thus allowing a third party to control your vehicle while you are in it.

It is great to see that the same physicists who have enabled quantum computing are now starting to advise, educate, and tackle the broader technological and societal issues.  

Prof. Bachor and Dr Sharma articulate the issue and discuss some solutions in a great public paper: Rethinking Cybersecurity For a Quantum World. 

If you’re interested in the subject and want to know more, you can catch the recording of Tech 23 panel discussion titled “Quantum Powered Industries –  what next”, in which a panel of Australian experts, headed by the Australian Chief scientist, discuss everything quantum computers.

Or catch the New Scientist Online Event: Quantum Computing with Michelle Simmons and John Martinis – on today, 11 March 6pm-7pm UK time. Both presenters are quantum computing pioneers and experts, with Dr Michelle Simmons having been awarded Australian of the Year in 2018 for her work and dedication to quantum information science.

What is next?  Well, the next 5-15 years will be bumpy – but science is the solution.

Rethinking security and redeveloping its principles will drive new technologies that allow us to continue to communicate, transact, and live with the dawning of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The development of new technologies provides enormous opportunity right across the world.  The opportunity will be driven by smart minds and entrepreneurial individuals who see application of the technology to solve real world problems.

Disruptive technologies change us and our societies forever.  I look forward to more discussion and debate on how to manage this new era.


By Stuart Midgley

Stuart Midgley is DUG's CIO and self-confessed "mad scientist". He holds a PhD in theoretical physics and is a world expert in high-performance computing. Stuart designed and developed the DUG Cool system of immersive cooling technology and was instrumental in the construction of DUG's world-class greenest data centres on earth. He's just as handy behind a BBQ. After all, he owns 17 of them.

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