When it comes to business, it’s a no-brainer that planning ahead is necessary for success. But in the world of cybercrime, planning ahead is necessary for survival. As some cyber experts look down the road, a huge threat looming is a literal quantum leap, as the power of quantum computers becomes commercially available. And according to BlackBerry CEO and Chairman John Chen, for CIOs, the time to prepare is now.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chen predicted that in eight to 10 years, quantum computers will be able to break today’s encryption methods.
The reason for that comes down to 0s and 1s, not surprisingly. Traditional computers use binary bits, represented as 0s or 1s, as The Wall Street Journal explains. What’s different with quantum computers is that they use 0s and 1s, at the same time. That means they can process and calculate information at an impossibly fast speed that is unprecedented.
“The computers have the potential to sort through a vast number of possibilities—more than the number of atoms in the universe—to come up with a probable solution. The calculations could be completed as fast as a fraction of a second, though no scalable, fault-tolerant quantum computer has been built yet,” writes The Wall Street Journal.
That’s good news and bad news. While that kind of compute power will be able to be used for valuable things like drug discovery and solving for other issues in society, it can also be used to break secure communications and transactions.
Chen told The Wall Street Journal that CIOs need to prepare–and invest—now. In his interview he announced a set of algorithms that will be released by year-end, which he says are resistant to quantum attacks. The algorithms will be able to integrate with cars, medical devices, satellites, and electric grids.
As The Wall Street Journal notes, “It’s becoming more important for CIOs and technology executives to pay attention to security threats—even those posed by emerging technologies—in part because board members are now recognizing how much is at stake.”
Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal.