A quantum computer is a computing technology that uses sub-atomic particles and the principles of quantum mechanics to perform exponentially faster computations than existing computers. Quantum computing has many applications in healthcare, such as protein folding. However, the technology also has the power to break today’s encryption protocols that secure data and critical systems.
If we have to evaluate the impact of all quantum technologies on the healthcare industry, the analysis will look like this:
The healthcare industry holds personal sensitive data making cyberattacks a lucrative business for malicious actors.
Every medical device, computer server, network, and storage array is vulnerable to cyberattack. Anything from ransomware to zero-day attacks–any act that allows a malicious actor to interfere with healthcare processes or steal data–puts the lives of patients and their caretakers in jeopardy.
Possibly, in the not-so-distant future, the digital healthcare industry will also be vulnerable to attacks from quantum computers.
Current encryption systems will be rendered useless once quantum computers develop enough processing power. Security experts are worried that we have little time to defend against such attacks.
The Need for Quantum Security in Healthcare
The quantum crisis threatens patient health, the large and lucrative healthcare industry, society, and even a country’s national security.
If existing cryptography that protects the security and privacy of medical technologies becomes inoperable, then patient health is at risk. Attackers could disrupt hospital networks and delay patient care. They could cause critical health devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps to stop working. It could make people sick or they might even die.
Medical information is very valuable. Research suggests that the value is tens of times more than stolen credit card information.
Risks to individual patients are bad news, but cyber risk exposure overall threatens the broader society. If healthcare systems, especially emergency services, are unavailable during a crisis, the public can be in danger. A quantum attack that disrupts medical ecosystems could destabilise public order.
Healthcare organisations need to start assessing their cybersecurity to look for areas vulnerable to quantum attacks. They should comply with all regulatory norms, and start taking inventory of their critical data and systems (both hardware and software).
Healthcare organisations can then move toward post-quantum cryptography, a new approach to cryptography that changes the way keys are generated, managed, and used. Using advanced mathematical techniques, post-quantum cryptography methods can protect healthcare data from quantum attacks.
How can QNu Labs help?
QNu Labs is a pioneer in developing products that proactively secure data for the post-quantum era.
QNu’s range of quantum-based products covers security from end-to-end across the entire data-based paraphernalia. From quantum-based encryptions to entropy enhancement services, QNu covers all security bases.
It is time to use quantum cryptography against quantum-powered attacks.