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The Executive’s Guide to Quantum Computing and Quantum-secure Cybersecurity
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The Executive’s Guide to Quantum Computing and Quantum-secure Cybersecurity

Arthur Herman

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CEOs and CIOs are accountable for protecting their company, their investors, their customers, and their employees from cyber-threats that endanger the company’s private information and financial well-being.

Today the most serious of these is the threat to the integrity of data and information that are vital to a company’s success. This comes not only from current cyber-attacks and hackers, which according to 2017 estimates by cyber-research firm Accenture, on average cost organizations around the world $11.7million a year. It also includes the future threat posed by quantum computers and quantum technology, which will render public-encryption systems helpless and enable competitors and adversaries to steal a company’s most precious information without leaving a trace behind.

In October 2018, global research and advisory firm Gartner elevated the quantum computer threat to the top of its list of digital disruptions for which CIOs may not be prepared. It noted that “quantum computers have the potential to run massive amounts of calculations in parallel in seconds,”1 including cracking the complicated math problems on which today’s encryption systems depend.

At the same time, considerable confusion exists, even among experts, about the true potential of the quantum threat, the timeline for its advent, and the steps needed to protect a company’s future.

This guidebook aims to provide some common-sense answers to these and other questions about quantum computers and the quantum threat. It also intends to offer solutions for CEOs, CIOs, and their fellow executives so that addressing the quantum threat is not disruptive, but merely part of their company’s normal cybersecurity plan.

In addition, it provides guidance for the future, answers other questions regarding quantum technology, and includes links for keeping up to date on the subject.

Business management guru Peter Drucker once posed the question, “Will the corporation survive?” One thing is certain: no corporation, agency, or enterprise can survive if its most important data and information are constantly and systematically vulnerable to attack and/or theft. Employees, shareholders and investors, and the general public need to trust that company executives have made every effort to secure that data and information, now and in the future.

It is to help senior executives fulfill that trust and ensure peace of mind that this guidebook was written.

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1 Panetta, Kasey. The CIO’s Guide to Quantum Computing. November 29, 2017 https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/the-cios-guide-to-quantum-computing/

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