### Importance of Quantum Cryptography

Behind the scenes, cryptographic technologies underpin a great deal of the security that we take for granted. Yet with ever more powerful computers, the encryption and decryption methods that underpin secure communications are under threat. IST researchers are identifying new ways of shoring up defences through advanced quantum computing.

Since Moore's law predicts the doubling of transistor density every 18 months it will become increasingly easy to break cryptographic keys as computational power doubles. For example, the 512 bit RSA public-key cryptosystem developed in 1977, can be broken by university research groups within a few months. Even though keys of 2048 bits are considered by many to be secure for decades, if the huge processing power of futuristic quantum computers can be implemented, then most public key cryptography will become history.

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