Mastercard Takes Serious Look at the Quantum Computing Threat to Cryptography

Taking a quantum leap into the future of financial services

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+  It’s a scenario for which the cyber teams are already preparing. For one thing, the underlying encryption calculations can be made quantum-resistant – meaning, sufficiently more complex. Even though the capability of quantum-enabled hacking isn’t here yet, teams are continually taking inventory of areas that could be vulnerable to any kind of attack, not just quantum computing.

“But imagine if there’s a quantum computer that can crack the code in a few hours,” explains Sadiq Mohammed, a vice president for product development in Mastercard’s Cyber & Intelligence business. “The threat is that if this technology gets in the hands of the wrong people, they can potentially break the cryptography.”


+  According to Mastercard, emerging technologies create new opportunities, but can also bring new risks. Quantum cryptography could harness its immense computing power to both encrypt and decrypt data. Much of the world’s electronically encrypted data – including the digital tokens associated with consumer card accounts – are protected using mathematical equations with a vast number of possible solutions. These encryption models are too complicated for classical computers to crack in a practical length of time.

+  With greater adoption and demand for contactless payments globally, the Cyber & Intelligence team recently released new contactless specifications called Enhanced Contactless, or Ecos. In the coming years, these specifications should make contactless payments quantum-resistant with a simple software upgrade – no new hardware of terminals required – and without any changes to the tap-and-go experience for shoppers.

Source:  The Financial.  Amy Kover,  Taking a quantum leap into the future of financial services…

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