The cybersecurity angle: Why recent research and investment in quantum and IoT is key
Opinion Our Scientific Advisory Team recently compiled a database of nearly 1,200 cybersecurity projects from academic institutions across the globe. Based on this research, various trends were identified. Globally, projects with an IoT element have increased by 123% when comparing the periods January 2008 to June 2013 with July 2013 to December 2018. Around 14% of current projects are IoT-related. With the promise of quantum computing on the horizon, there has also been an influx of projects that apply quantum technology to the future of cryptography, with a 227% increase in this area of research alone (albeit this was from a low base).
In the UK, quantum and IoT-related projects have both more than doubled over the past five years. Current funding captured across all UK projects exceeds £70 million. Of this total figure, just under 10% is going into quantum related research and a similar amount into IoT projects. Research funding bodies include Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Considering that Gartner estimate the number of connected devices to exceed 20 billion by 2020, this significant investment in IoT research is hardly surprising. The world of ubiquitous computing is upon us, with IoT devices now having diverse applications from home automation, robotics and gaming, to autonomous vehicles, smart grids, smart cities, healthcare and manufacturing.
Since the proliferation of IoT devices has amplified the cyber-attack surface, enhancing the security of IoT devices has become an issue of paramount importance. Most of the projects captured have a focus on user-centric solutions that aim to increase the security of connected devices, in order to aid resilience against active attacks from organised crime cybercriminals, terrorist organisations and state-sponsored attackers, to ultimately protect individuals’ privacy. A leading organisation in this field is the PETRAS IoT Research Hub - a research association consisting of nine universities working to tackle issues surrounding privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability and security/safety in relation to IoT devices.
Since 2000, quantum has been listed on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies twelve times, with only the latest entry claiming that the technology is less than a decade away from its peak. Whilst a large-scale, universal quantum computer has not yet been achieved, notable advancements are being made in the field.
Using the principles of superposition and entanglement, quantum technologies have the potential to disrupt current cryptographic security protocols. However, quantum technology also has the potential to dramatically enhance the security and efficiency of communications based on true random number generation, with a major current research focus on Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). Applications of post-quantum cryptography include the financial services sector and the military and intelligence services. Indeed, the director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, recently said that the espionage agency will harness the power of quantum computing and artificial intelligence to provide a ‘new kind of security’ that will save lives.
We at Crossword are pleased to see significant government investment being made to future-proof our security in the fields of quantum and IoT devices. It will be interesting to track the progress of these two prominent and rapidly advancing fields, which are sure to have a significant impact on the cybersecurity landscape over the coming years and will both be relevant to enterprises.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.
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