Saint Petersburg, 2 June 2017 – PwC and the Russian Quantum Center (RQC) have joined forces to develop and commercialise quantum information security systems that will ensure the maximum protection from cyberattacks. The parties signed an agreement today at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Quantum technologies are starting to become reality. Major IT companies have already invested large sums to develop quantum computers. According to CB Insights, over the last three years (2013-2016), companies working on quantum technologies have quadrupled their investments against the previous 14 years (2000-2013). The RQC is currently building experimental prototypes and industrial designs of quantum computers and researching potential application areas with major Russian financial institutions.
Quantum computers will be able to do what even the most powerful conventional computers cannot and will likely become a reality in the next ten years. A number of countries and large corporations (IBM, Google) are already building quantum machines. Even the online retail giant Alibaba, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has joined in the race. However, all of these advances could generate new threats, as quantum algorithms are capable of hacking the most commonly used information encryption systems. To counter this threat, quantum technologies will need to be used to reinforce IT security systems and make data interception virtually impossible. The RQC—one of the pioneers in quantum computing—is currently designing and testing prototypes of quantum cryptography systems.
“The collaboration between the Russian Quantum Center and PwC provides the opportunity to further develop comprehensive systems that incorporate technology as well as advanced business models. The RQC has placed particular focus on developing quantum cryptography systems that will meet industry needs for digital infrastructure and information security.”
“We are pleased to be working with the Russian Quantum Center, a global leader in quantum cyber-security. Quantum technology is a rapidly growing field, one that offers enormous potential—and risk—to the business world. Drawing upon our vast experience in IT risk assurance, we are working with the RQC to develop cutting-edge cyber-security systems that have the capacity to counter the latest threats. As companies apply existing and emerging technologies more aggressively in the push to digitise their operating models, the need to create efficient cyber-security strategies based on the latest breakthroughs has become paramount. If companies fail to earn digital trust, they risk losing their clients.”
According to the PwC Cyber-Security Lab, the conventional cyber-security tools and technologies that are used in most companies will confront new risks related to quantum computing.
“Unfortunately, traditional cryptographic methods are simply not designed to combat the malicious use quantum technology, while cyber-security tools will inevitably become obsolete as quantum computing fully emerges and enters commercial reality. Although the widespread use of quantum computers will take time, the transition to new cyber-security systems that have the capacity to counter quantum invasions must be made in advance.”
“Quantum systems work faster than classical ones, thanks to the development of new algorithms. Quantum attacks have the potential to compromise commonly used encryption systems. The increased computing capacity and speed of quantum computers will make it much easier for cyber-criminals to hack into encryption protocols than it is today. On the other hand, quantum technology can help us to create more powerful encryption algorithms. By using secure quantum communication channels as the basic foundation of our IT systems, we can move data protection to the next level.”
Under the agreement, PwC and RQC intend to offer clients comprehensive information security solutions based on quantum technology.
PwC Russia (www.pwc.ru) provides industry-focused assurance, advisory, tax and legal services. Over 2,500 people work in our offices in Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Voronezh, Vladikavkaz and Ufa. We use our in-depth knowledge, wealth of experience and creative approach to problem-solving to develop fresh perspectives, sound advice and practical solutions that can open up new vistas for business.
“PwC” refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. The PwC global network encompasses more than 223,000 people in 157 countries. For more details, please visit our website at www.pwc.ru/ru/about/structure.html.
©2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved.
The Russian Quantum Center (www.rqc.ru) is a unique private R&D facility engaged in conducting fundamental and applied research as well as in commercialising technologies and devices for quantum computing. The center’s leadership has established a distinctive innovation ecosystem where fundamental scientific research drives technology development. In just five years, the RQC has attracted a team of world-leading scientists featuring two Nobel Prize winners, set up ten research groups and built eight state-of-the-art labs from scratch. RQC experts are working on ultrasensitive sensors, optical microresonators, quantum computing elements (qubits), quantum cryptography systems and other areas. In 2016, RQC launched Russia’s first ultimately secure commercial communication system, and a year later, the first multi-node quantum network in the country, and the first quantum blockchain technology.