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Scotiabank prepares for the quantum computing era by exploring encryption alternatives

Feb 11, 2020 | Finance

Quantum computing is destined to make a big impact on society. Scotiabank is preparing for the worst. The financial institution is taking a proactive approach to embracing new encryption methods.

Quantum Computing Changes the Game

Current methods of computing are incapable of cracking encryption standards quickly. It may be done eventually, but the time, money, and effort required isn’t worth it. When quantum computing arrives, however, there may be some serious changes in this regard. It is often best to prepare for the worst, rather than ignoring the looming change.

One concern regarding quantum computing is the impact on encryption standards. Most methods utilized today will be broken within a matter of days, if not hours. This can potentially expose a ton of sensitive information in the process. Quantum computing technology will become accessible to hackers as well.

Scotiabank, a financial institution in Canada, acknowledges this threat. Rather than sit on its laurels, the bank is taking a proactive approach. Starting this week, the migration to new encryption methods will commence.  Finding quantum-safe solutions will not come easy, however.

Is the Threat Real?

There are still many questions regarding the impact of quantum computers. Although Google has announced a major breakthrough, many experts still doubt the claims in 2020. As such, it remains unclear how “scared” anyone should be of quantum computing at this time.

That being said,  advancements in technology continue to accelerate. This applies as much to computing as it does to anything else. The era of quantum computers will arrive eventually, albeit no one can predict exactly when. Being prepared for this inevitable change is never a bad idea, especially in the financial sector.

Scotiabank Chief Risk Officer Daniel Moore adds:

“Those are classical methods, but they’re demonstrably safe from quantum decryption. We’re understanding what the solutions to the problem are, and we’re starting to have that dialogue about what our defensive strategy would be. What are your crown jewel assets that you need to protect first, with the highest defenses, and how would you do that?”

To ensure a safe future, Scotiabank partnerned BMO Group and Xanadu. This collaboration will also focus on improving the speed and accuracy of computations in trading. A proof-of-concept algorithm has been developed, and is now undergoing rigorous testing. 

Images courtesy of their respective sources.

Fintoism is not providing financial or investment advice. All content published on this platform is for entertainment and educational purposes only.

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<a href="https://fintoism.com/author/oglock/" target="_self">JP Buntinx</a>

JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is passionate about cryptocurrencies, fintech, blockchain, and finance. He currently resides in Belgium.

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