Data is the oil in the wheels of our digital economy. It’s the currency that powers interactions among people and connects organizations to their customers. Data facilitates and informs decision-making and problem-solving. It underpins positive change. It steers the course to increased operational efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, profitability.
But the value data creates is matched only by the degree of risk it introduces. Whether it’s about intellectual property, proprietary plans or confidential customer information, industry observers and investors in particular are directing increasing scrutiny towards businesses’ security profile. Organizations that fail to address cybersecurity threats head-on – including the looming threat from Quantum computing – may feel the consequences in sharply reduced valuations.
Time’s running out
Contemporary data security solutions are designed to reduce the risks associated with the storage, handling, and transmission of data. But there are notable and concerning chinks in the armour of traditional data security approaches.
It starts with cryptography, the cornerstone method to protect the world’s data. Everything from passwords to digital signatures and top-secret military communications is based on mathematical problems that would take classical computers millions of years to solve. And that’s precisely where most of these traditional data security methods and approaches fall short. They’re not geared to comprehensively respond to the looming threat of quantum computing.
The quantum threat
Quantum computers can solve problems that classical computers either cannot or would take thousands of years to crack. If you’re a scientist or researcher, that’s an amazing game changer.
But Quantum computers are also changing the data security landscape. And not necessarily for the better. That’s because advances in quantum computing threaten to break today’s encryption methods wide open. Indeed, bad actors are already harvesting encrypted data today, just waiting for the Quantum computing power to decrypt its secrets.
Once sufficiently powerful quantum computers do become commercially available, traditional cryptographic defenses will collapse very quickly. And standard asymmetric public-key encryption systems like RSA will be rendered incapable of protecting the world’s data from bad actors.
That’s why businesses everywhere need to prepare for a harsh reality: current cryptographic defenses that secure their data today are destined to be broken. It’s a global crisis on a par with Y2K. And that may be putting it mildly.
The race is on to find solutions, with contenders already coming to the fore. One start-up to watch is a Canadian-based innovator called Quantropi (www.quantropi.com). The company is taking a novel cryptographic approach, which it claims can protect the world’s data from the “steal now, crack later” challenge. In fact, Quantropi is so confident in the power of its patented technologies to withstand any future classical or quantum attack, it has turned its tagline into a kind of dare: Bring It On.
What’s a business worth if it’s vulnerable to breaches?
To help protect against breaches and the inevitability of quantum computing attacks, there’s been an explosion of capital investment in start-ups and new technologies – both in North America and abroad.
Nevertheless, most current approaches to quantum-ready data security fall down outside the laboratory. What’s more, they’re prohibitively expensive, require new dark fiber infrastructure, or are otherwise unfit for real-world applications.
“Our quantum-secure cryptographic solutions are founded in quantum mechanics, and expressed as linear algebra,” said James Nguyen, Co-Founder and CEO of Quantropi. “It’s mathematics. This means our software can be easily deployed, is effortlessly scalable and works on today’s Internet – over unlimited distances, at full network speeds, with minimal investment in new technology or infrastructure. We’re creating a new standard for quantum-secure data and communications.”
Quantropi has positioned their solutions as offering “TrUE” quantum security because they fulfill all three cryptographic prerequisites: Trust, Uncertainty, and Entropy. Each solution is available through the company’s flagship QiSpace™ platform.
The time to act is now
When it comes to getting ahead of the curve by preparing for tomorrow’s quantum threats, business leaders worldwide need to act urgently – not only to secure their data in motion and at rest – but also to safeguard the brand reputation and ensure positive valuations, and ultimately, to protect the bottom line.
In the absence of robust quantum security measures, threat actors with access to quantum computers will target data that powers all kinds of modern applications. Enterprises must understand their “data storage” timelines – i.e., which data will be around only for a few years (less vulnerable) and which will retain its value for at least ten years (more vulnerable) – and harden their defences, without delay.
Data security deserves a top spot on the boardroom agenda. Smart individuals and especially institutional investors are demanding companies have modern plans to directly address threats to data privacy and security.
As a matter of risk-based valuation, it’s just sound financial planning – with safety in mind.
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