The Best Defense Is a Good Offense... and Thinking Way Ahead
Quantum Computing: The Future of Technology
It shouldn't surprise you to learn that computers are constantly becoming more and more sophisticated. That's been the case from the very beginning—there are always computer software and hardware developers creating the Next Big Thing.
That's exciting. But at the same time, those developing these new technologies always have to keep one thing in mind: staying a step ahead of—or at least getting ready for—attempted attacks from hackers.
Here's an example of that.
There's a mega-computer that's being developed called a "quantum computer." There are only a handful of quantum computers operating at the time of this writing (Summer 2014) being developed and refined. Governments and corporations are all interested in the technology and putting it to use for their own operations.
The bottom line of these super-computers is that they can do their work at incredible speed, due to the advanced technology.
But with that advancement comes a future problem—today's security systems wouldn't be able to provide much protection at all. And as we all have learned, hackers are always eager to mess up great new technology. That's what they do.
So are the brilliant minds giving up their quest for quantum computing before the fight even begins? The answer is NO. So there are companies that are already looking ahead, anticipating the future hacking attempts of tomorrow's hackers, and preparing to do battle...and win.
One company in San Diego, California—staffed with computer geniuses, including a few with experience in the U.S. Government's cyber warfare division—is up for the task. A dozen of the experts are spending their time trying to stay one step ahead of the criminals by anticipating their moves...even if those moves are years away.
This is almost science fiction, like something out of the old movie Sneakers, made more than 20 years ago. According to new reports, the "solution" to the defense system is kept in a metal box that contains some sort of "crystal" inside. The crystal splits a light beam into "quantum" bits, which is the stuff of quantum computing.
If a hacker were to try to intercept these computer bits, the sensor beam would detect it and thwart the attempt.
For all of its sophistication, the protection will still be primarily used for one thing: to make the hacker give up when they don't make any headway or find the going too difficult. That happens when they run up against the best encryption software and unbreakable passwords.
That's the case today and it will most likely be the case in the future. Once again, hackers look for vulnerabilities in systems. They want to get in where they can, where it's easier. A house burglar will always prefer to go through an open window or an unlocked door.
Companies such as Microsoft, Google, and IBM are all investing heavily in academic research on quantum computing. Internationally, the governments of the U.S, the United Kingdom, Canada, China and others are also backing development of the technology.
Some companies aren't necessarily waiting for quantum computing to arrive full-force. They're already providing some anti-hacking solutions, using quantum technology to help some government agencies and supersized corporations protect their passwords. In those instances, the technology is being used to transmit sophisticated and encrypted passwords...hard to crack, if not unbreakable.
How are these companies actually using that technology? They're not really saying. That's all part of staying many steps ahead of the hackers and others who don't need to know what's going on.