Data is the engine of the new economy. The data economy depends on the creation of data and data sharing. This makes data an invaluable asset for nations, enterprises and individuals. The data exchange fuels data harvesting. Companies and individuals are known to harvest data - extract useful information from data sources for their personal benefit. Data is harvested through the breaches and sold on the dark web. One can buy credit card information on the dark web for a few dollars.
The protection of data from misuse, through inappropriate data harvesting, is achieved through encryption. Encryption converts the information into a secret code that hides the information's true meaning. It has been a saviour for data in the last few years. Almost all data is now encrypted - phone calls, emails, online messages, internet content, banking details, e-commerce etc.
Today, public-key encryption algorithms are used widely for encrypting data sent over the internet. The RSA-2048 public-key encryption provides the best combination of security and performance. It is believed to be extremely secure because it takes classical computers trillions of years to break the mathematics behind the encryption key exchange algorithms.
Since the meat of the loot is not cash but data in today’s digital world, it is not surprising that we frequently hear about data hacks and data breaches. The value of harvesting encrypted critical data (with long shelf life) through different means and decrypting it later is priceless, especially for state-sponsored hackers as access to such data can be used as leverage against adversaries.
Imagine a scenario when the current public keys are broken in a few minutes…
The advent of quantum computers has dramatically changed the cryptography landscape. The superior computational power of quantum computers can break public-key encryption almost instantly. The prowess of quantum computing makes the pain of data harvesting worthwhile because decrypting sensitive data is a breeze. As per a report published in 2020, a quantum computer with 4099 perfectly stable qubits could break the RSA-2048 encryption in 10 seconds.
Imagine the repercussions of this ability in the defence, critical infrastructure, banking, and healthcare industries.
Why is this discussion important today?
The researchers had predicted that a 4099-qubit quantum computer may not arrive until 2030 but according to a recent article in Financial Times, Chinese researchers claim to have found a way to break encryption using existing quantum computers. American cryptographer, Bruce Schneier, said the Chinese claim "is something to be taken seriously".
The point to be noted is that if such news is gathering steam, we are already late in de-risking our data. The news article serves as a rude wake-up call to act soon.
The prudent decision is to protect the encrypted data today so that it remains encrypted in the future.
The data economy is here to stay and grow. New threats demand new solutions. We, at QNu Labs, are miles ahead in ensuring that your data remains safe from new encryption breaches.
We have developed quantum cryptography as well as post-quantum cryptography-based solutions to address a wide range of use cases. While quantum cryptography solutions are based on the principles of quantum physics, post-quantum cryptography is based on mathematical problems that are hard for both classical and quantum computers to solve.
Our hybrid solutions (quantum and post-quantum cryptography) offer security for both ‘data in transit’ and ‘data at rest’ and can be implemented on dedicated wired or wireless networks of government and Defence as well as on shared public networks of private enterprises. The solution is easy to implement without any disruption to the business.
The importance of protecting critical and sensitive data using quantum-secured technology is the only path to secure our future. There is no time left to think and decide. The only plausible course of action is to plunge into adopting quantum security.
Data security today can avoid a data catastrophe tomorrow.