Quantum computers can break many of the encryption algorithms currently used to protect sensitive data, bringing along new security threats with them, according to a report by MIT Technology Review.

Attackers can copy users’ encrypted data now and decrypt it once they have access to a quantum computer. Researchers are trying to develop new encryption algorithms to protect from this “harvest now and decrypt later” strategy of attackers. If organisations do not plan the transition now, it will increase the risk of accidental incidents.

Advertisements

However, transition to this new cryptography is a tricky and lengthy task, and it can be difficult for organisations to spend on an abstract future threat years before that threat becomes reality.

The report also highlighted that quantum computers work in a different way from the classical computers used today. Instead of the traditional bits, they use quantum bits, called qubits, that can represent different values at the same time.