Quantum computing and artificial intelligence have seen significant gains over the past few years. Some people have grown concerned about what this means for the cryptographic sector, as powerful quantum computers could virtually break any type of encryption we know today. Various cryptographers feel these potential repercussions are overstated. Moreover, they feel AI and quantum computing may not affect computer security all that much in the long run.
Cryptographers Are Skeptical About Quantum Computing
It is impossible to predict what the future may hold for computer security as a whole. Some things will need to change sooner rather than later, that much is certain. Unlike what to most people may assume, those changes may not be driven by artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Various cryptographers feel both of these technologies will have a “minimal impact” on computer security for the foreseeable future.
To put this news into perspective, artificial intelligence can be quite useful when it comes to computer security. Processing a big data effectively will require AI-based solutions. Turning big data streams into smart data humans can comprehend is not a task any person can complete by any means. Various companies are using artificial intelligence for this specific type of purpose already, with varying degrees of success along the way.
Moreover, artificial intelligence can be quite powerful when it comes to defending computer systems as a whole. Looking at behavioral patterns with this technology will cause the number of successful cyber attacks to decrease as time progresses. However, when it comes to offensive capabilities, there doesn’t seem to be much chance of success in its current form. Identifying zero-day exploits, for example will require a bit more ingenuity.
On the quantum computing front, cryptographers are showing fewer signs of concern. While there have been significant advances in the field of quantum computing these days, quantum cryptography seems to be following a very different path. In fact, there is no real indication RSA encryption can be affected by quantum computing anytime soon. It is expected no real progress will be made in quantum crypto before 2031, although that deadline is not set in stone by any means.
Cryptographers are more concerned about other tangible threats that may affect encryption and cryptography in the future. Weakening encryption, either on the software or hardware side, is a big problem. Weakened encryption is a direct threat to national interests, according to various cryptographers. Building a “secure backdoor only the government can use” is very impractical at best and will only leave the door open for criminals to access these services as well.
For the time being, there is no real threat from either quantum computing or AI when it comes to cryptography. There are other concerns that pose a more pressing threat to cryptographic standards. The growing number of restrictions on cryptographic research in specific regions, for example, has a lot of experts concerned right now. The government needs to focus on what really matters, rather than trying to introduce weakened standards.
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