Quantum computing is still cutting-edge, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. What is quantum computing? Is it the same as quantum cryptography, a central tenet of so-called quantum security? And where does artificial intelligence (AI) fit in?
What Is Quantum Security?
Often when you hear about quantum computing in terms of security, it’s related to quantum cryptography. Quantum computing has a major speed advantage over computational computing. Because of that, it enables the processing of a very large amount of data at speeds never possible before. It’s a totally different way to get an answer from lots of data and different sources.
The downside is that this benefits both the good guys and the bad guys. On the one hand, people trying to guarantee quantum security can create accurate encryption codes more quickly. On the other, threat actors can use the exact same tools to break encryption faster. In addition, both parties can use it for quantum key distribution. That way, they safely exchange information such as cryptographic keys. Quantum technology also enables processing a high volume of data in almost real time. That makes it possible to detect an eavesdropper during encryption exchanges.
AI: A Cornerstone of Digital Defense
AI is becoming more and more important in any type of computer security. After all, it can help predict both possible risks and potential attacks. Through using AI to analyze collected data, security workers can prioritize threat notifications and vulnerability management. However, the same downside exists as with quantum security — threat actors also use it. Businesses and agencies that do not embrace AI will quickly find it challenging to defend against attacks from it.
That’s why defenders need to use AI, too. Setting up tasks through AI reduces human error and frees up workers to focus on tasks that benefit from human input. This makes for a better work day, too. People are able to spend their time on high-level and meaningful tasks that increase their skills and experience.
Even Better Together: AI and Quantum Security
Combining quantum and AI tech might be the next goal on the horizon. While quantum security and AI are each powerful alone, Pew Research Center reported that early studies of combining them are showing positive results. The University of Vienna created a hybrid AI model that used both quantum and classical computing at the same time to analyze many ways to solve a problem. The study found that the mix of AI and quantum tech resulted in learning the solution to the problem 60% faster than with the classical computing model alone.
The appeal of using AI and quantum isn’t just that they’re faster together, though. Because if they can process more data faster, they can both provide predictions on many new types of activities and make current predictions more accurate. In short, this means you can expand both depth and breadth with one change.
One of the biggest challenges with quantum security is that the attacks are constantly evolving. As soon as you start looking for a specific type of attack, threat actors are typically already a step ahead and on to a totally new type of attack. By using AI with quantum, defenders can more accurately and quickly detect novel threats, which means limiting the damage. Because AI becomes smarter with more data analyzed, AI algorithms become more accurate, more quickly, with quantum.
Moving Forward With Quantum Security
Instead of diving straight into using AI with quantum on a widespread basis, start with a small project so you can test out the tech and processes behind it. Look for a project that has a distinct business problem. From there, you can show measurable results, such as triaging alerts or detecting a specific type of attack.
Keeping your data and infrastructure safe is a constantly evolving challenge, and the best way to stay ahead of threat actors is by adapting new tech as it emerges. You can fight against threat actors only if you have a level playing field. In quantum security, this means using the same (or better) tools as the threat actors. Your organization can reduce its risk and vulnerabilities by quickly moving to a combination of AI and quantum. That gives it the speed and access to data required to beat the attackers at their own games.
Jennifer Goforth Gregory is a freelance B2B technology content marketing writer specializing in cybersecurity. Other areas of focus include B2B, finance, tec...