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Quantum Computers – The Solution for Tomorrow’s Challenges


The ever-increasing demand for electronic information is taxing today’s technology. This month’s issue of Spectrum, an IEEE publication, echoed the ideas Joe Koontz, CISSP, PMP presented to an audience of approximately 200 attendees at June’s Techno Security conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Mr. Koontz, CTO of Houston based Forensic and Security Services Inc, suggested that quantum computing is the answer to this vexing problem. Spectrum published the article “The Trap Technique Toward A Chip-Based Quantum Computer” just two months later, describing how quantum computing works, how we’ll get there, and how it will change the way information is stored and how to expedite its retrieval.

According to Mr. Koontz, data is often times no longer valuable by the time today’s technology is capable of decrypting it. He stated that, in most of these cases, the data is not worth the cost of accelerating the encryption process. The problem with today’s technology is that computer searches are linear. A computer must search through individual entries, one at a time, until it stumbles upon the correct answer. Mr. Koontz’s suggestion, to the Techno Security audience, was “What if a computer could examine all entries, virtually, at once?” Then, he proceeded to show how the parallel processes of quantum computing would actually allow a computer to do this!

Essentially, quantum computing allows more information to be stored in the same amount of space than today’s technology allows. Quantum computing will also make it possible for computers to perform many calculations simultaneously. With today’s technology, computers can only perform one calculation at a time.

Theoretically speaking, the idea of quantum computing has been around since the 1980’s. It was first presented by the Nobel Prize winning American physicist, Richard Feynman. Since Dr. Feynman’s initial introduction of quantum computing theory, computer scientists such as Peter Shor, Lov Grover, David Deutsch, and Richard Jozsa have continued to research the principles behind the theory of quantum computing, bringing us ever closer to the day that quantum computing will be put into practice. That day will lead to vast improvements in such fields as digital forensics and cryptography.

Joe Koontz, CISSP, PMP is the chief technology officer and vice president for the Houston based Forensic and Security Services Inc. He heads their research and development department. In this role, he has created innovative cost effective solutions for e-discovery and network security issues.

Spectrum is a monthly magazine published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The Spectrum article referenced in this article can be found on pages 37 – 43 of the August issue


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