President Biden has signed two directives aimed at ensuring that the United States maintains its leading position in quantum computing while protecting the country from future attacks using this emerging technology.
The United States has long been a world leader in quantum information science (QIS), a broad field of science and engineering, and quantum computers are one of many promising applications in this interdisciplinary field.
Instead of being a substitute for traditional computers, quantum computers have the ability to analyze information in entirely new ways to help stimulate innovation in the US economy from energy to medicine.
According to a Information about the White House, President Biden’s new executive order will encourage progress in quantum computing by improving the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee, which will now be placed directly under the leadership of the White House. In this way, the president, Congress, and federal agencies and agencies will receive the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information about quantum computing technology in the future.
Dealing with the risks posed by quantum computers
In addition to supporting the advancement of quantum computing, President Biden also signed a Memorandum of National Security designed to address the risks that quantum computers pose to US cybersecurity.
In the not too distant future, quantum computers will be used to break the encryption that protects sensitive government, business and consumer data, as well as the cryptography that provides digital communications on the Internet. To help address this risk, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will publish new quantum-stable cryptographic standards to protect against these future attacks.
However, it will take time for the country’s most vulnerable IT systems to move to these new standards, so the United States must begin the long process of updating its IT infrastructure today to protect itself from the threats of tomorrow’s quantum computing.
At the same time, the new national security memorandum will direct federal agencies to develop comprehensive plans to protect US intellectual property, research and development and other sensitive technologies from acquisition by opponents of the country.
We’ll probably hear more from the Biden administration about quantum computing as NIST develops its new quantum-stable cryptographic standards and federal agencies begin updating their vulnerable IT systems.