How Quantum Computing & ML Shaping Cybersecurity


Quantum refers to energy and matter that work with very tiny particles. They refer to the basics of human and natural existence since everything is the same in composition. Modern physics uses quantum theory to represent matter and energy's atomic and subatomic levels. Electrons and photons are examples of those smallest particles that cannot be divided further. Working at such a grassroots level reminds me of the basics of life and the building blocks that made everything possible. It is interesting to check out how such a theory aids the cybersecurity industry, which is being harshly threatened by hackers nowadays.

Encryption Shields for Cybersecurity

Now applied everywhere, the encryption and decryption standards use a code for scrambling messages to escape the evil eye of hackers. According to the system followed, a key is used for both phases of encryption and decryption, public or private. Along with the widespread Rivest-Shamir-Adleman or RSA encryption algorithm are several others. AES or advanced encryption standard, Triple DES, Blowfish, and Twofish are other significant encryption algorithms. What happens without data protection? Passwords and passphrases, account numbers, and other personal details will be known to cyber criminals. Fraudsters hold up computer systems and demand ransom for data restoration, steal money and disrupt work and business.

Risks Increased with the Pandemic

The world was unprepared when covid broke out, and mass work-from-home commenced. Suddenly, online infrastructure had increased a hundred-fold with no preparation. Cybersecurity suffered from weaknesses, especially on personal devices and Virtual Private Networks that were quickly launched on a large scale. Industry experts are busy at the moment, struggling to put up a bigger fight against cybercrime. Unless there is peace and confidence, normal work and research, development and progress cannot succeed. Some common-sense measures help, like trusted workers who will not help hackers, restricted access to computer systems, and robust security systems built by experts.

How AI and ML Assist in Cyber Attack

Though it is hard to accept that machines work better than humans, that is the truth! Computer programs do not tire and doze off like bus drivers, leading to accidents. Devices are rightly called smartphones with all the digital wonders they are capable of. AI and ML have been helping the fight against hackers for many years. A simple approach is the detection of data changing, which is what the beginning of a cyberattack would do. Sensing changes, the program immediately starts undoing whatever is going wrong and helps to revert to the normal functioning state.

Cybersecurity Amidst Increasing Sophistication

The virtual world seems to work infinitely with ever-increasing functions. Payment systems, E-commerce, and critical infrastructures like defense, banking, and healthcare now face new security threats. Hopefully, quantum computing and machine learning can find the best answers to beat hackers in their own game. It is essential to realize that both sides benefit from all the advanced software systems, just like innovative war weapons help both parties. Risk management works on several levels, like supply chain management, that spreads across the globe. Customer interaction in digital businesses and the Internet of Things are two of the processes that require sharp security.

How to apply Quantum Computing?

So much of the digital world is now automated! The greater spread of digital worlds, the higher the security risk and more challenging roles of quantum computing. ML is already hyperactive in covering media and healthcare, E-commerce, and manufacturing. ML possesses the power to identify threats and respond quickly to such emergencies. Quantum Computing speeds up the process to minutes and can heal security problems to a greater extent. QC can work with mega data and speed up ML.

How do QC and ML work?

  • Security for critical infrastructure with quantum key distribution improves upon conventional safety. QKD uses laser pulses to share an encryption key. Quantum computer network development is a distant dream yet.

  • Quantum ML succeeds amidst complex mega data for classification with faster work and enhanced energy at a reasonable expense. Neutralizing new cyberattack styles is a possibility.

  • Quantum measurements can detect tiny changes in data and apply them to cameras and radars in defense security. Location identification with quantum approaches gets rid of GPS weaknesses.

  • Cryptography requires number generation of several kinds. Using random quantum physics, the generator is very secure because it is impossible to predict the number to be generated.

Possible Quantum Computing Risks

Probably quantum levels offer very safe encryption, but the truth is that hackers also have access to the same vigorous technology. Post-quantum cryptography is one of the new approaches. Hackers could invade public encryption, which is something to worry intensely about. Large company systems remain exposed constantly, and critical public infrastructure faces risks. The next few years might see security improvements, but quantum awareness needs to be built. Research continues, and greatly enhanced security through quantum protocols is coming soon.

An introductory quantum computing lesson

  • What is the most miniature scale of nature? Classically called a bit, it is either 0 or 1. In quantum terms, it is a qubit that is 0, 1, or a superposition which means any combination of 0 and 1. Calculating two classical bits, like 10 and 11, requires four calculations. The Quantum approach calculates all four instantly. The quantum speed is immense, and the more extraordinary powers would facilitate superior cybersecurity.

  • Entanglement refers to qubits that become joined like a single entity.

  • Qubits being unstable, information gets degraded very quickly.

Goodbye to Public Key Cryptography

When quantum principles become common in the future with greater security, the now universal RSA algorithm will no longer be effective. RSA uses two prime numbers and a quantum computer with 4000 error-free qubits will do better in moments. That will require far greater qubits at 1 million than 100 qubits. Such development may happen ten years later. The waiting game continues.

Conclusion

Ten years to wait may seem like a distant dream, but faster results may happen, like the urgent demand for climate change remedial measures. In the shorter term, too, quantum computing will help with more robust algorithms, correcting errors, and scaling qubit count. Benefits for cybersecurity will still happen in the shorter term. Small quantum computers already show the way while IBM and mega companies like them remain busy building on large scales. The best cybersecurity is yet to come, but the lesson remains to remain perpetually on guard.

Updated on: 07-Dec-2022

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