Future-proofing Cybersecurity Using Quantum Technology
In the arms race between cybersecurity and cybercriminals, we've always relied on complexity trumping computational power. In the era of quantum computing, complexity isn't enough. We need true randomness.
Agood random number is hard to find. Humans are terrible at generating randomness, and computers are arguably even worse. And yet randomness is a fundamental building block of modern digital encryption. Without a good source of pure randomness, even our strongest cybersecurity measures are vulnerable to the rapidly-accelerating march of computational power.
“When an algorithm generates a random number, almost by definition, you know that it's not really random — it's deterministic by nature because it has been created by a complex formula behind it,” explains Francis Bellido, CEO of Montreal-based firm Quantum emotion, the only public quantum random number generation (QRNG) company in the world. “With the threat of quantum computers, which have already in the prototype stage increased
calculation capacity millions of times over, it will be possible to crack any existing encryption system one way or another.”
With cybercriminality increasing fourfold over the course of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we future-proof our
security with true randomness, removing the computational element altogether. But where do we find these pure random numbers?
The quest for true randomness
“In Newtonian physics, there is nothing random,” says Bellido. “The only way to get pure true random numbers is to rely on quantum mechanics. What we've developed at Quantum emotion is a junction which we bombard with electrons and measure the quantum tunnelling effect. It's purely random — what we call in physics a source
of pure entropy. The junction itself is extremely small, 10 microns across. It will fit in a USB key or on a chip in your phone, making it completely uncrackable. It’s our vision that in the future, every device that connects to the internet should have a QRNG. Because, after all, every time you connect a device to the internet, you're creating a new door for cybercriminals to enter your home or business.”
As the world of computing continues to be transformed in the quantum era, future-proofing those doors is going to require the kind of locks that only true randomness can provide.