Since the topic of encryption to protect restricted data in storage or in transit has always been part of technology conversations – I wanted to share information about quantum computing and how it is impacting today’s encryption measures.

Quantum computers, though still rare and expensive, are predicted to become much more economical and pervasive over the next five years.

A quantum computer leverages the quantum mechanics property of superimposition – whereby a qubit of data can be both a ‘1’ as well as a ‘0’ at the same time. Basically, this means that a quantum computer, unlike traditional computers, can consider ALL possible answers to a math problem simultaneously.

The consequences of this are enormous for the encryption that is used to protect sensitive data today. For example, it is now trivial for a quantum computer to be able to crack the encryption keys used in strong SSL.

IBM has recently recommended that to prepare for this decryption threat, companies start now to move their most confidential data to lattice field encryption which is resistant to decryption by quantum means. A patch to OpenSSL is available which enables support for lattice encryption.

Here are two links for further information:

General information on this topic –

https://www.zdnet.com/article/ibm-warns-of-instant-breaking-of-encryption-by-quantum-computers-move-your-data-today/

For a publicly available lattice crypto library from Microsoft that supports OpenSSL see:

Lattice Cryptography Library

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