17 Nov 2022 3 min read

Data Protection from Outsmarting the Nazi’s Enigma Machine to Today’s Quantum Computers

By Paul Fuegner, Head of Marketing, QuSecure 

 

Cracking codes has been a part of the world history for thousands of years. Today, nation-states are building quantum computers with increasing speed and scale. One of the purposes of making those quantum computers is to infiltrate our sensitive data. It is significant because nearly every device is connected to the internet with data vulnerable to decryption at multiple touchpoints across the web. There is a current attack style called Store Now Decrypt Later (SNDL), where bad actors intercept data packets as they travel across networks and decrypt them using the power of quantum computing. 

 

During World War II, there is this remarkable story about the Nazis using the “Enigma machine” to encrypt their messages. And because they were encrypted in a fancy mathematical way, the Nazis felt confident enough to share their strategic and secret plans over the radio. Anyone could tune in and listen, but even though these messages could be intercepted, the code came across as gibberish, and the Nazis believed they were secure against decryption. So, the Allies put together this team of brilliant mathematicians led by one of the fathers of modern computing and AI, Alan Turing, and they figured out how to break these “Enigma codes” efficiently and quickly. For a long time, “good guy” engineers were intercepting these messages that were confidently sent over the public channels. They would tune in and listen.  

 

That is very much like how we use the internet today. The Nazis were using the radio to communicate with different battle stations efficiently. That ended up being their downfall because, quietly, the Allies understood their strategic plans and where and when they would station their troops and weapons. It is estimated that the Allies saved countless lives and ended the war earlier by cracking the Enigma machine codes.  

 

What if that kind of power fell into the wrong hands? That is precisely what is happening with current encryption. We confidently send our data over these public channels because we feel it is safely encrypted. However, bad actors are constantly stealing that data. We may not know when they will be able to break it, but experts are increasingly aware that the date will come much sooner than later. 

 

QuSecure offers QuProtect, a holistic network solution that provides post-quantum crypto agility. It is a proven, adaptive, quantum-resilient cybersecurity software that protects your data wherever and whenever it travels, in transit, or at rest. With attack intelligence and monitoring, QuProtect acts as the “easy button,” making mandatory upgrades simple while integrating seamlessly with today’s and yesterday’s legacy technology. 

QuSecure gives cybersecurity leaders the protection, assurance, and confidence they need so their organizations are ready for today. 

And tomorrow. 

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