However, there are many other research projects outside of Microsoft in the same field. In China, researchers have achieved a breakthrough by claiming quantum supremacy.
If quantum is so powerful, what will the threats that target these systems be capable of?
A team from the University of Science and Technology of China confirmed in Science they developed a system called Jiuzhang that can complete a calculation in minutes that a supercomputer would take 10,000 years to solve. It's the groups quantum supremacy achievement, following Google's own supremacy breakthrough in 2019.
Speaking to ThreatPost, Tim Hollebeek, industry, and standards technical strategist with DigiCert, said the tech is still developing but the potential is clear:
“While such quantum computers are not a threat to encryption today, they do remind us that the day is coming when that will no longer be true.”
“It is important that security professionals start planning for the transition to post-quantum cryptography, as such transitions take many years to plan and implement. The Chinese result probably does not materially change predictions of how soon that will be, but leading organizations still expect it to come within the next 10 years or so. So, it is important to start preparing now.”
One obvious early protection against the misuse of quantum computing tech would be with standards and regulations. That will obviously come, but so far there is no guidance from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Finalized standards are likely to arrive in 2022.