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The Search for True Randomness: Quantum Hardening of Cybersecurity’s Weakest Link

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Sponsored by:
Quantum eMotion header
Sponsored by:
Francis Bellido headshot-Quantum eMotion

Francis Bellido

CEO, Quantum eMotion

With cybercrime skyrocketing over the course of the pandemic, cybersecurity experts are working overtime to not only protect systems against the sophisticated attacks of today, but also against the unprecedented threat of quantum computing on the horizon. Fortunately, accessible innovation in quantum security is helping them stay ahead of the curve.

We are on the precipice of a dramatic sea change in the world of cybersecurity. The basic tools of encryption that we rely on to keep private information private, both on secure servers and when traversing the wilds of the Internet, depends on a series of asymmetrical mathematical computations that can be performed quite easily in one direction, but are intractable in reverse on any human timescale. With quantum computers on the horizon, however, that fundamental asymmetry is poised to collapse, even as we enter a time of unprecedented cyber threats. And, so the first movers into the new era of quantum security will be positioned to enjoy a peace of mind that’s in short supply in a time of quantum uncertainty.

The quantum computing revolution has been a long time coming. The theoretical basis for it is extremely solid, the small-scale proof of concept has been completed. We know that this new paradigm of computer technology is feasible, and it is just a matter of time before full-scale quantum computers become commercially available. How much time, exactly, is still an open question, but very rarely has it been wise to bet against the pace of innovation. In this environment, it is vital that we be looking at the quantum vulnerabilities of our systems with a critical eye, and that we be equally cognizant of the opportunities to bolster these systems with quantum reinforcement.

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Quantum technology can play defence too

The good news is that, even as broader quantum computing remains publicly inaccessible, some powerful tools are becoming available to seamlessly integrate the potency of quantum methods into existing security. Significantly, the advent of quantum random number generators (QRNGs) is making it possible to easily create cryptographic systems that are truly secure against all random number attacks.

“Currently, encryption seeds are generated by pseudorandom number generators that are essentially algorithms using mathematical formulas to produce sequences of seemingly random numbers,” explains Francis Bellido, CEO of Canadian quantum-safe cybersecurity innovator Quantum eMotion. “These numbers are an approximation of randomness and are deterministic by nature. In contrast, QRNGs are non-deterministic and based on quantum phenomena. We have produced a second-generation QRNG based on the quantum tunneling phenomenon created by electrons, unlike other competitive technologies which depend on photonics physical properties. This new approach shows distinctive advantages in terms of robustness, speed, scalability, and cost.”

As the name implies, the historical purpose of ubiquitous pseudorandom algorithms was purely to mimic the once unattainable goal of true randomness. With QRNGs that ideal is now within reach.

Quantum random number generators are the only way to get a full step ahead of the most dangerous cybercriminals, before they have access to next generation quantum tools of their own.”

Tomorrow’s essential security is today’s peace of mind

Adopting this type of quantum-enabled security measure today not only provides essential future-proofing to sensitive digital systems, it also functions as a key safeguard against the ever-increasing assault of conventional cyber attacks. “Cyber threats are growing more sophisticated by the day, and the cost of breaches to North American businesses is measured in the billions of dollars,” says Bellido. “The difficulty in sourcing truly random numbers has long been known to be a existential vulnerability to our digital security systems, and embracing the power of quantum randomness today is the only way to get a full step ahead of the most dangerous cybercriminals, before they have access to next generation quantum tools of their own.”

Quantum eMotion’s QRNG technology is also prone to miniaturization as the tunnel junction is truly microscopic, just 10 microns across. It is thus possible to enjoy this added layer of security in all contexts, embedding it into preexisting chips in computers, smartphones, or any other device that connects to the Internet. From the most sensitive financial information to the simple day-to-day realities of identity, location, and personal communication, every online application can benefit from the superior security provided by a QRNG.

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