A new report from computer scientists estimates that it’s likely to be at least a decade before quantum computing tools become powerful enough to compromise the current system of public-key cryptography that serves as the foundation for data security and financial transactions.
But it could also take a decade or more to replace current crypto tools with new protocols that would be resistant to quantum hacking, according to the report, published today by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
Therefore, the report’s authors say, it’s urgent to begin the transition toward such “post-quantum” protocols — which can range from increasing the size of encryption keys to developing new lattice-based systems such as NewHope and Frodo.
The study was sponsored by the federal Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and meshes with policy strategies laid out in September during a White House quantum information science summit. Like the White House strategy document, the National Academies study points out that the rise of quantum computing will have deep implications for national security.