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October 2018, Vol. 1, No. 4

Quantum supremacy and the path to encryption chaos

You don't need to fully understand the algorithms or scientific theory behind how quantum computing works to recognize its potential to disrupt modern cryptography and enterprise IT security. Quantum computing is not simply the evolution of high-performance computing. Instead, it represents a completely new perspective on computing itself, relying on qubits -- as opposed to bits -- that represent the probability of being a 1 or a 0 simultaneously. The theory is certainly more complex than I'm qualified to explain, but the important takeaway is that quantum computers have the ability to perform calculations that classical computers cannot. In fact, the term quantum supremacy is used to describe a milestone in which a universal quantum computer performs a task beyond the capability of a conventional computer within a reasonable amount of time. Why is quantum computing emerging now? Quantum computers exist today, but so far, none has achieved quantum supremacy. However, we may not be far off. In March 2018, Google announced a 72-...

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