Professionals in cybersecurity and cryptography (and even non-IT executives) are hearing about the coming threat from quantum computing. It’s reaching the mainstream business consciousness.
A December 2018 report from Deloitte notes “It is expected that 2019 or 2020 will see the first-ever proven example of quantum supremacy, sometimes known as quantum superiority: a case where a quantum computer will be able to perform a certain task that no classical (traditional transistor-based digital) computer can solve in a practical amount of time or using a practical amount of resources.” The report also notes quantum computing will take many years to supplant traditional computing, but it promises to have a transformative effect.
Quantum computing leverages the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at a time. This results in faster operations and less energy usage than classical computers. The term classical computers refers to computing platforms as we know them today: laptops, smartphones, or tablets are all classical computing devices. On these devices, a bit stores a single piece of information in one of two states: either a 1 or 0.