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59 percent of Canadian organizations expect quantum computers to become mainstream by 2030, according to new research from KPMG in Canada. However, only 53 percent say that they are preparing for its arrival or have fully assessed (55 percent) the associated risks to their organizations.

While only 17 percent of Canadian companies have made investments in quantum to date, as many as 85 percent plan to do so within the next five years.

When asked what types of problems they were looking to address with quantum computing, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the respondents are looking at it to improve business practices, such as manufacturing, logistics and distribution, 19 per cent to improve their security, and 18 per cent are to improve their AI capabilities.

Key survey findings include:

  • 59 percent of large Canadian corporations expect quantum computing to become mainstream by 2030, while 31 percent are unsure of the timeline.
  • 53 percent are preparing for the arrival of quantum computing.
  • 55 percent have fully assessed the risks associated with quantum computing.
  • 85 percent have either already invested in quantum or plan to within the next five years.

While Canadian organizations recognize the potential of quantum computing, they are also concerned about the risks, with 56 percent saying they are ‘extremely concerned’ about the potential of quantum computers to break through their data encryption and six in 10 (59 percent) believing ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before cybercriminals start using quantum to decrypt the most-common cyber security protocols.

Despite these concerns, only one quarter of organizations are prepared for the potential threats posed by quantum computing. Four in ten (39 percent) say they are not prepared while 37 percent are unsure.

“Organizations need to understand that hackers and cybercriminals will be quick to use quantum to decipher encrypted data. If an organization isn’t focused on developing its defences now, they will be at risk of mega-data breaches that will result in major losses, reputational damage and possibly lawsuits,” says Alexander Rau, a partner at KPMG in Canada’s cyber security quantum risk practice.

The KPMG survey finds that six in 10 (62 percent) say they need to do a better job evaluating their company’s security to ensure their data remains secure, while nearly half (48 percent) fear their organization will wait until quantum technology has matured before it does anything about it.

“Current encryption standards that would take a traditional computer many years to crack will take a quantum computer less than a day to decrypt,” warns Feite Kraay, IBM Alliance Director, KPMG in Canada. “It’s important that as companies invest in and adopt quantum computing solutions that they also simultaneously assess potential vulnerabilities and establish an action plan for their data protection infrastructure.”

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