Quantum computing threatens “the security on which our digital ecosystem is built,” Vikram Sharma and William Dixon wrote for the World Economic Forum in August 2020. To counter this threat, they wrote, requires a “global community of stakeholders” to promote safe, secure quantum applications.
Quantum computers use quantum mechanics to perform computations much more efficiently, and therefore faster, than standard (“classical”) computers can. The enhanced power of quantum computers puts at risk much of the cryptography that underpins our global digital security system.
New quantum-enabled technologies “can provide robust and future-proof security and potentially a new paradigm of trust not currently available using traditional approaches,” Sharma and Dixon wrote.
These technologies include quantum key distribution and random number generation. For example, they wrote, quantum key distribution technology protects the exchange of encryption keys between parties, a cornerstone of cybersecurity for many day-to-day transactions. Similarly, quantum random number generation promises to make high quality encryption keys more secure.
However, according to Sharma and Dixon, solutions like these depend on cooperation among academic labs and specialist technical communities. Building a “quantum security coalition” requires overcoming a gap in gap in “both awareness of and information about the potential applications, risks and security solutions associated with quantum technology.”
Vikram Sharma and William Dixon, “Here’s Why We Need To Build A Quantum Security Coalition,” World Economic Forum, August 11, 2020, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/08/we-need-to-build-a-quantum-security-coalition/.
Student Researchers: Nathan Mallett and Cameron McAtee (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Zeke Baker (Sonoma State University)