An Introduction to Quantum Computing for Security Professionals

Quantum computing is still in its infancy but is expected to cause major changes to the technology landscape in coming years. Its ability to massively reduce the time taken for processes normally requiring large amounts of processing power is already causing concerns about the future of cryptography and the resistance of ciphers to cracking.

In addition to its well-known cryptographic uses, quantum computing theoretically has applications in a number of areas, with the following areas being the subject of a large part of current research and debate:

• Financial
• Biomedical
• Machine learning
• Optimization

As we’ll discuss later, the areas where quantum computing offers improvements are those that could traditionally have been optimised using parallelisation.

Some unfamiliar, unusual or paradoxical concepts can be encountered in quantum theory. While reading the paper, it might be helpful to bear in mind a popular quotation, attributed to Richard Feynman:

“If you think that you understand quantum mechanics then you don’t understand quantum mechanics”

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