- The dawn of the quantum computing age brings with it many potential new risks – including those related to security.
- Government agencies and industry groups have expressed a growing sense of urgency when it comes to transitioning to a quantum safe future.
- Cyber security expert Jaya Baloo explains why and how we need to protect our economies in case of a quantum future.
The world’s biggest companies are now launching quantum computing programs, and governments are pouring money into quantum research. For systems that have yet prove useful, quantum computers are certainly garnering lots of attention.
The reason is that quantum computers, although still far from having reached maturity, are expected to eventually usher in a whole new era of computing — one in which the hardware is no longer a constraint when resolving complex problems, meaning that some calculations that would take years or even centuries for classical systems to complete could be achieved in minutes.
The idea that quantum computers will transform business and usher in a new era of unprecedented computing power is increasingly making its way into executive pitches as a marker of forward-thinking and innovation, with the technology often touted as the new must-have that could deliver a competitive edge.
But for many scientists working in the field, the keen interest that investors and CIOs are taking in quantum computing is a double-edged sword. While quantum computers eventually need to move out of labs and into businesses, the technology’s commercialisation might be happening too soon, they warn, running the risk of relegating quantum computing to the much-dreaded ‘over-hyped’ category, along with virtual reality, blockchain or NFTs.
With all of the excitement surrounding quantum computing coming from researchers, businesses and even governments, it’s tempting to envision a future in which Amazon Prime Day deals would include alluring discounts on the latest-generation quantum computers, ready for next-day delivery to your door.
After all, the first classical computers built in the middle of the 20th century were gigantic systems that were seen at the time as the pinnacle of technology, only to be accessed by white-coated researchers in secretive labs. For most people, the idea of using a computer for day-to-day applications seemed simply ludicrous.