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HomeTechnologyThe Quantum Cyber Threat: Why Is Quantum So Hard To Understand?

The Quantum Cyber Threat: Why Is Quantum So Hard To Understand?

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Quantum technology isn’t the easiest topic to get your head around. Although quantum computing has been around since 1980, it’s only in recent years that technology has advanced enough for what was once just theory to become a reality. Given the newness of quantum, it’s no surprise that even those who work in the industry are often confused about what’s what. 

So, when The Quantum Daily published a list of the top 51 CTOs in quantum tech companies, I knew I had to check it out! They make a very good point about CTO’s having the most crucial role in the world of quantum computing as they’re the ones that have to know the absolute ins and outs of the complicated technical specifics, and then be able to tell the rest of their teams (and the likes of me and you) about it in simple terms. It’s not an easy job! 

And, it got me thinking. If quantum is already so hard to understand, how can you trust yourself to pick the right company and solution for you? Think of it this way, any estate agent could spin you a story about how the house you’re about to buy is safe, secure and watertight, but until you see it for yourself you won’t know for sure. And, it’s a similar thing when it comes to the explosion of quantum security solutions we’re seeing on the market. Every quantum company wants to show off their solutions as the best, but unless you really understand quantum computing, then you’re gonna have to take some of what’s said at face value, right? 

Of course, any savvy person will know to do further research to vet the company by checking the proposed theories and solutions have been peer reviewed, match up to the science and are technically sound. The reality is, however, that a lot of people don’t have the necessary knowledge and will fall victim to phony solutions. 

So, are the ‘experts’ wrong?  

Sometimes, yes. Which is why it’s important to stay abreast of industry news to weed out any quantum tech companies spouting false claims. For example,  Switzerland’s Terra Quantum has been under the spotlight recently and for all the wrong reasons. 

First the company claimed to have reached a historic breakthrough in quantum cryptography with a technology that allows quantum cryptography keys to be transmitted over a distance of more than 40,000km down network fibre lines! To date, no other quantum technology can stand up to those claims, which is unsurprising, because the claims are false. Quantum cryptography signals decay over long distances, and Terra Quantum’s proposal to boost the signals with multiple amplifiers down the entire fibre lines wouldn’t work as these points would then become a target to be intercepted. It would be like handing over a map to the hackers. We just can’t assume the architecture is safe, because it’s clearly compromised. It’s no wonder Quantum Daily only added Terra Quantum in at 50 in their top CTOs list, though I am surprised they even made the list at all! 

But then we come onto the big thing. As well as having a theory full of loopholes, it seems like Terra Quantum is full of holes as a company too. Not only is their theory not peer reviewed, The Telegraph recently reported that they had deleted references to their work with Russian quantum researches from their website… 

According to The Telegraph, Terra Quantum removed two Russian members from it’s leadership team, as well as a list of staff that included professors and PhDs from Russian institutes. It’s a very sneaky move to try to get around the concerns from Western security services, but it’s just made them appear even more suspicious as a company. 

The top 10 CTOs in The Quantum Daily’s list and their respective companies, I believe, are doing amazing work in terms of developing quantum theories and technologies that have real promise to propel us towards a quantum future. They’re backed by real research, house expert teams and share theories that have been substantially peer reviewed. So, if you’re in the market for a security solution to protect you from the quantum security threat (which is coming, it’s only a matter of time!) then I would strongly recommend going for one of these top ten.

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