Post Quantum Cryptography

by James Birnie

Security English

Quantum computers are real and are starting to be used for some interesting applications. As well as many applications in finance, organic chemistry and complex dynamical systems there is an ugly elephant in the quantum room. That elephant is Shor's algorithm.

Given a sufficiently powerful quantum computer, Shor's algorithm can factorise numbers in polynomial time. I have implemented it on a quantum simulator and it has been used on real quantum computers. When quantum computers are powerful enough nearly all the encryption techniques that we currently rely on will be useless.

Should we care about this now?

James Birnie
VP Engineering, IMMO

James has worked in software since the 1990s, when TDD was something you studied but never did and Agile and Lean were words you used to describe athletes. He learnt the hard way about Agile, Lean and Devops in a startup for 9 years before learning from much cleverer people as a consultant at Thoughtworks for 5 years before moving back into the Product company world. He is now enjoying scaling the organisation at IMMO as VP Engineering.