Prep for Next-Gen Encryption Should Start Yesterday


The National Institute of Standards and Technology is getting nervous about quantum computers and what they might mean for the cryptographic systems that protect both public and private data. Once seen as far off — if not borderline science fiction — quantum computing now seems a much closer reality.

A few days ago, IBM announced that students, researchers and “general science enthusiasts” can now use a cloud-based, 5-quibit quantum computing platform, which it calls the IBM Quantum Experience, to see how algorithms and various experiments work with a quantum processor.

IBM sees its approach to quantum computers as a first draft of how a universal quantum computer, which can be programmed to perform any computing task, will eventually be built. Getting people to experiment with this early quantum processor will, it clearly hopes, give it pointers on how to proceed in  building quantum applications.