Quantum computers continue to evolve and, in some cases, their advancement is occurring more rapidly than anticipated. As my PMI webinar (link below) suggested, progressive researchers and organizations have begun to forecast the implications of the unique processing capabilities quantum computers will likely have. One of the more concerning implications of the commercial availability of a quantum computer of an appropriate size is its ability to break current levels of encryption. Some have forecast that a quantum computer of this size will be available in the not so distant future – a few years, not decades.
Back in 2016 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced its ‘Effort to Defend Encrypted Data from Quantum Computer Threat.’ In 2019 they announced new efforts given the current perspective for advancing quantum computing capabilities. This is a really big issue; however, currently, there is a viable solution to this pending problem – it’s called quantum encryption (QE) and it is at the very early stages of commercialization. QE is the science and technology that applies the rules of quantum mechanics to perform encryption. Fior Markets projects the global quantum encryption market is expected to grow from $107 million in 2017 to nearly $760 million by 2025. That is nearly a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast in those early stages of QE’s evolution. In addition, it clearly shows the recognized need to address this problem and to do it now!
The continued digitalization of our information assets and systems is driving cybercrime and the theft of data. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is projected to cost the world more than $6 trillion annually by 2021. Quantum encryption goes a long way to help mitigate the risks and reduce the financial losses associated with the theft of our data and digital assets. Based on current information from a defense organization coupled with projections from technology leaders, quantum computers will likely be capable of beginning to break current levels of encryption by 2024. Efforts need to be made to protect our data, both stored and while being digitally transmitted (including over 5G), from this pending threat. Given the close proximity of the 2024 date and the fact that the planning, analysis and execution of a quantum encryption replacement project will likely take 12 to 18 months for the mid-sized companies, organizations would be well advised to begin now.
Project Management Quantum Technology (a bit dated) Webinar: https://www.projectmanagement.com/videos/573047/Preparing-Project-Managers-for-Quantum-Technology-Projects