Insights Into Boosting Storage and Security With Quantum Computing

quantum computing
Professor Ebrahim Karimi (right) |

Quantum computing will improve both cyber security and memory storage exponentially. Here’s the latest news on both of those fronts.

Of all the tech making up the ‘wave of the future,’ quantum computing is perhaps the hardest to understand.

Traditional computing is binary, consisting of bits that are in states of either one or zero. By contrast, quantum computing holds bits that are in multiple states, simultaneously one and zero. It’s easy to get confused when trying to wrap your head around the concept, suffice it to say that it will completely change the field of computer science.

But to what end will these changes take place?

If data can be stored as quantum bits, or qubits, each bit is far more capable and therefore more valuable. This makes quantum computing faster and more complicated, which leads to data being more secure. Quantum computing can also encrypt and decrypt simultaneously with a heretofore unparalleled ability, putting old binary-based systems to shame.

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While the benefits sound great, the technology is still very much in its infancy, and the storage capacity and overall security is the prime target of researchers in the field.

More about Storage

In quantum storage news, scientists at Australia’s Griffith University and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed and performed a ‘proof of principle’ experiment to show the advantages of quantum mechanics.

Nanyang Technological University |

What makes this experiment interesting is that the simulations were meant to prove that complex processes in the macroscopic world were better done through quantum computing. To prove this, processes were simulated using a “quantum hard drive” which would require much less space than the memory required in conventional simulations.

Their experiment consisted of a quantum simulator that utilized the interaction between two photons, which are single particles of light. Using the quantum simulator, the memory requirements of their experiments were far smaller than those of traditional simulators, proving that quantum computing has a distinct advantage over binary computing.

In more basic terms, binary computers need massive quantities of data to handle processes such as transportation system management, and quantum computers need only a fraction of the space.

With memory advantages like this, it isn’t a stretch to imagine how quantum computing could substantially miniaturize the needs of binary computing processes, allowing us to get more processing power out of less physical space.

Of course, it doesn’t matter how good your data storage is if a hacker can get into it and do what they like. Thankfully, quantum computing is as good for security as it is for storage.

Keeping Data Secure With Quantum Computing

The first time I heard of quantum computing I was being told how hard it would be to hack quantum processes. Security is perhaps the flashiest feature of quantum computing since the relative difficulty of hacking quantum-based computing methods means that you need to come up with a new method of quantum-based hacking to crack a given system.

Tabaret Hall | University of Ottawa

Of course, science wouldn’t be what it is without a few madmen looking to expertly tear everything down, and so we get a research team out of the University of Ottawa that have built the first high-dimensional hack for a quantum computing system.

Of course, they didn’t do it to watch the world burn. If researchers are discovering a hack, it’s because they want to be able to defend against anyone else who finds it. Considering how quantum systems were supposed to provide complete security for data transmissions, this discovery could be a useful leg-up on the black hat wearing competition that will most assuredly rise when quantum computing becomes more mainstream.

According to Professor Ebrahim Karimi, the team “built the first high-dimensional quantum cloning machine capable of performing quantum hacking to intercept a secure quantum message.”

Essentially, they were able to catch a transmission and make a near-perfect copy of it, which in any real-world situation would constitute illegal spying. Luckily, the team reported that the vulnerabilities had more to do with the use of a single pair of photons rather than a hole in quantum computing theory. Using more photons should make quantum computing more secure, according to the researchers.

It never ceases to amaze me how the world of scientific research never stops. Quantum computing has hardly taken off from theory into proof-of-concept, and scientists are already finding ways to improve and boost its efficacy. When we finally get practical quantum computing machines in the mainstream, I’m sure they will be amazing products. Until then, keep your eye on the research if you want to keep up with the next wave of computing technology.

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