[Answered] Highlight the cyber risks arising from quantum computing for India. Also, suggest some measures for protection against threats from quantum technologies.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some cyber risks arising from quantum computing for India.  Also write some measures for protection against threats from quantum technologies.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Quantum computing is an area of study focused on the development of computer based technologies centred around the principles of quantum theory. With traditional encryption models at risk and increasing military applications of quantum technology, the deployment of “quantum-resistant” systems has become the need of the hour.

Cyber risks arising from quantum computing:

  • Data breaches could threaten the security of business transactions, secure communications, digital signatures and customer information.
  • Quantum Computing companies, institutions and research groups may become targets by cybercriminals and hacktivists.
  • It may be used to launch masquerade cyber-attacks. These quantum computing threats have different behaviours and signatures that most of today’s software cannot identify.
  • The most significant impending security risks are related to cryptographic encryption. Public key encryption could be decimated by it. for example, recorded and stored communications could be hacked into through quantum.
  • According to theoretical research, with quantum computing, every computer on this planet will become vulnerable. Even nuclear codes can be hacked with quantum computing.

Measures for protection:

  • Strengthen privacy and security: Privacy-enhancing computing (PEC) techniques can be utilised to build strong encryption methods. It empowers third parties to process encrypted data and deliver results without having knowledge of the source.
  • Quantum resistant mechanism:India must consider procuring the United States National Security Agency’s (NSA) Suite B Cryptography Quantum-Resistant Suite as its official encryption mechanism. This can then facilitate India’s official transition to quantum-resistant algorithms.
  • Enhancing cryptographic standards:The Indian Defence establishment can consider emulating the cryptographic standards set by the US’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which has developed a series of encryption tools to handle quantum computer attacks.
  • Establishing nationwide communication network: integrated with quantum cryptographic systems can prevent any cross-border quantum cyber offensive.
  • Diplomatic partnerships: with other techno-democracies countries with top technology sectors, advanced economies can help India pool resources and mitigate emerging quantum cyber threats.
  • Funding: The government can fund and encourage existing open-source projects related to post-quantum cryptography.

The world is moving towards an era in which the applications of quantum physics in strategic domains will soon become a reality and increasing cyber security risks also. The country should start implementing and developing capabilities in quantum-resistant communications, specifically for critical strategic sectors.


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