Last month, we brought together together experts from across the Quantum and Cybersecurity communities to discuss the current state and future implications for cybersecurity innovation in Quantum computing. The event marked an important milestone in building an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in this exciting, yet nascent, field. 

Research into quantum related technologies covers a wide range of topics, but not all of them have an immediate impact on cybersecurity. The discussion focused primarily on networking and communications.

Quantum technologies are revolutionizing the field of cybersecurity, and researchers are exploring new ways to use quantum computing and communication to enhance security and protect against cyber attacks. Some of the key trends and areas of research in this field include:

  • Quantum Key Distribution (QKD): This is a method of secure communication that uses the properties of quantum mechanics to establish a shared secret key between two parties. Researchers are exploring ways to make QKD more practical and scalable for real-world applications.
  • Quantum Cryptanalysis: This is the study of how quantum computers can be used to break traditional cryptography algorithms. Researchers are working to develop new encryption algorithms that are secure against quantum computers.
  • Quantum Secure Multi-Party Computation (MPC): MPC is a method for securely performing computations on sensitive data in a way that keeps the data private. Researchers are exploring ways to use quantum technologies to enhance the security of MPC and make it more efficient.
  • Quantum Random Number Generators: Random numbers play a critical role in cryptography, and quantum technologies offer a new way to generate truly random numbers. Researchers are exploring the use of quantum technologies to enhance the security of random number generators.
  • Quantum Machine Learning: Machine learning algorithms are increasingly being used in cybersecurity, but they can also be vulnerable to attack. Researchers are exploring ways to use quantum technologies to enhance the security of machine learning algorithms and protect against adversarial attacks.

These are just a few examples of the many areas of research and development in the field of cybersecurity in quantum technologies. As the field continues to evolve, researchers will likely uncover new ways to use quantum technologies to enhance security and protect against cyber threats.


Meet the Roundtable

We invited innovators, leaders, practitioners, and researchers to join us to discuss what the opportunities might be for the cybersecurity sector, what is needed to fuel innovation, and where will the market be for new technologies developed in this sector.

Representatives from across the Cybersecurity and Quantum Technologies fields were invited:

Airbus –  Paddy Francis
KETS Quantum –  Tom Crabtree
Veracity Trust Network –  Martin Barker
Ethicronics –  Franck Courbon
Crypto Quantique –  Dr Joelle Boutari
School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh –  Mina Doosti
Cryptique Consulting –  Daryl Burns
FinServExperts – Areiel Wolanow
University of Bristol –  John ‘JC’ Chapman

In addition, Charlie Rice, from InfoSec People, and Luciano Maino, from University of Bristol, EPSRC CDT –  Cyber Security TIPS, joined us on the day and contributed to the discussions.

What did we find out?

One of the initial findings of the Roundtable discussion was that Quantum technology is still in its early stages. While the potential is huge, it’s important to remember that different areas of Quantum are progressing at different speeds. So, we need to be realistic about the impact this technology will have on the industry. By managing expectations, we can work out how much is science-fiction and how much is science-fact.

Another important insight that emerged from the discussions was the need to bridge the gaps between the cybersecurity and Quantum teams. It became apparent that fostering collaboration and ensuring the right people are present at relevant events are critical steps toward understanding the challenges posed by Quantum. We need to invite the quantum researchers to the cybersecurity events and the cybersecurity professionals to the quantum discussions.

While the discussions focused on the technical aspects of Quantum Cybersecurity Innovation, there was a consensus that effective communication is vital for wider adoption and understanding. It’s important to explain Quantum-related issues in a clear and accessible manner to non-experts. Issues should be explained explicitly for the non-experts, to be clear about what the problems are likely to be and what the problems are that they need to care about. By translating complex concepts into everyday language, we can help everyone grasp the problems and why they should care about Quantum Cybersecurity. This transparency will create a more inclusive and informed approach to protecting our digital world.

Education and talent development were key topics discussed. More thought needs to be given to how we train/educate the talent for the future, both in schools and universities, and the Participants stressed the importance of training programs that equip future generations with the skills needed to navigate the Quantum landscape. It’s essential to incorporate Quantum-related curriculum into schools and universities, so emerging professionals are well-prepared to tackle cybersecurity challenges. By nurturing a knowledgeable workforce, we can strengthen our defenses and stay ahead of potential threats.

A significant recommendation that emerged from the roundtable was the need for companies to conduct risk assessments on their data, especially for information that has a long shelf life or is sensitive in nature. By evaluating vulnerabilities and implementing appropriate security measures early on, organizations can mitigate risks associated with Quantum technology. Companies should be looking at carrying out risk assessments on their data now, particularly data/sensitive data that has a long shelf life. Taking action now is crucial to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of data in the Quantum era.

What's next?

Looking ahead, we will be issuing a report later this Summer with the findings from the Innovation Roundtable.  This will be available on our website in August.  Subscribe to our Cyber newsletter and we’ll drop a link straight into your inbox when it’s ready.

Following on from that, we are planning that our Cyber Tuesday event, on 12th September, will be a Quantum themed ‘Question Time’. The evening will feature a panel of participants from the roundtable and the event will provide a platform for insightful discussions and expert answers to pressing questions.