Quantum Technology Hype and National Security

Quantum Technology Hype and National Security

Gov CIO Outlook | Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Quantum technology could have significant implications for national security, and taking proactive steps can prepare governments for the coming quantum future.

FREMONT, CA: In the coming years, global supremacy will belong to the nation that controls the future of information technology—at the core of which will be quantum technology. Quantum technology will use quantum mechanics principles to work on data exponentially faster than legacy computers—in ways that will far surpass the abilities of today’s fastest supercomputers. With the emergence of such a powerful machine, the immediate question arises is that how would this change modern living. Quantum technologies will certainly significantly impact national security, touching everything from secure communications to faster code-breaking to improved detection of aircraft and submarines. Read on to know more.

Regarding quantum computing, the most-recognized quantum computers can be used by defense planners to do simulations of military deployments, by scientists to design complex chemical reactions to tailor new materials, or even by computer scientists to decrypt cryptography or advanced artificial intelligence. The risk to encryption standards is also acknowledged, as quantum computers will require advanced encryption techniques, as many current methods may be susceptible to algorithms run on quantum computers. The technology, which can guard against classical and quantum attacks, can accelerate the exchange of encryption keys over long distances while remaining protected, meaning that it is well-suited to safeguarding national security communications.

Exploiting quantum’s ability to enhance measurement accuracy will be a real game-changer. The technology can be implemented to new cameras, radars, and other detection systems to offer more capable means of finding everything from stealth aircraft to submarines to underground facilities. Quantum metrology can help solve many of today’s pressing defense problems by providing new forms of location and timing not reliant on GPS signals that can be easily jammed or spoofed.

It has become clear that for government leaders in national security who face significant stakes for getting things wrong, doing nothing is no more an option. The pragmatic leaders can put the infrastructure to enable their organization to capitalize on whatever developments quantum may bring. However, to get specific about what government leaders can do to be ready for tomorrow’s quantum world demand understanding what quantum technology itself is.

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