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Cloud Security Alliance cautions on quantum computing risks

Global cloud industry group, the Cloud Security Alliance, has raised concerns about the potential security risks of quantum computing and warns that while most companies are aware of the risks, they are not yet ready to take action.

According to CSA's latest Safe Security Awareness survey report, the fact that most companies are not ready to take action could conceivably lead to a "very dangerous situation" in the future when confidential information may become available to any entity possessing a quantum computer.

“Within the next 10 to 15 years we can expect to see a cryptographically useful quantum computer,” said Bruno Huttner, CSA QSS WG co-chair and product manager for the Quantum-Safe division of ID Quantique.

“With this considerable breakthrough will come a significant threat to the security of public key cryptography and the associated challenges of securing the global digital communications infrastructure. This report is an important step in identifying potential areas of concern and so we can begin to lay the groundwork for security solutions.”

“While there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in convincing the industry of the importance of including the threat of quantum computing in enterprise security strategies, the good news is that there is a great deal of interest in learning more about the threat quantum presents and how it can be mitigated,” said Jane Melia, CSA QSS WG co-chair and vice president of strategic business development at QuintessenceLabs.

“This latest report provides an excellent context for moving forward in our efforts to educate the industry.”

Of those surveyed more than 90% were IT or information security professionals. Among other key findings were:

  •        Sixty percent of respondents are “very aware” or “somewhat aware” of quantum computer technology and of the impact that quantum computers will have on data security.
  •        Just 30% are very or somewhat confident that their current security approaches will keep their data safe.
  •        Only 40% of the companies surveyed are working to future-proof their data against the quantum computer threat.
  •        Thirty-three percent of respondents are not aware that quantum solutions exist.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).