Quantum technology has been estimated to benefit cybersecurity application the most, especially where security is weak by current standards. For example, many IoT environments have been criticized as being insecure. More and more devices are connected to the Internet and cybersecurity has not always been implemented in the best possible way. Indeed, numerous development projects are underway in which new cryptographic solutions will be applied to the reliable identification between devices in the IoT environment and the encryption of communications.
The United States is at the forefront of quantum technology development, both in the private sector and in state-funded projects. Scientific research and the development of quantum technology standards in the United States is led by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). The United States is followed by Japan, China, South Korea and Canada. Both the EU and individual European countries have launched their own research projects. Quantum technology is one of China’s spearheads in building the status of a technological superpower. Indeed, China has invested by far the most in state-funded projects in recent years. China’s funding of ten billion euros for 2017-2020 is more than five times that of the United States. However, given the pace of technological development in the United States and the strong private sector, China is not yet a world leader in quantum technology even with this investment.
Preparations for quantum technology, and the threat it imposes in the area of cybersecurity, are already underway. Post-quantum cryptographic solutions and their rapid development seem promising, at least in theory. It is likely that new encryption solutions will be incorporated by software companies into everyday applications, For example in, Internet browsers, communications applications, e-mail, cloud services, etc. Taking quantum technology into account in today’s operations depends on the organization’s security requirements. For companies engaged in non-security-critical business, general monitoring of developments and the introduction of new quantum algorithms for firmware in the future will suffice. Organizations handling high-security information should already take a critical look, for example, at possible tactics of protecting archived information. It is possible that the data that is encrypted today will be decrypted very quickly in 20 years. In this case, one must consider extending symmetric keys or protecting data by means of physical security.
The practical application of quantum technology is still a long way off, according to general estimates, perhaps 10-15 years away. It is possible, perhaps even probable, that quantum technology is already being used in the intelligence systems of the great powers today. History provides a great example of this from the 1970s, when mathematicians at the British Signal Intelligence GCHQ developed a public key encryption method in secret, about five years before the RSA algorithm was born.