In the ever-evolving theater of cybersecurity, the proliferation of quantum computing presents a formidable challenge to our current defense-in-depth strategies. While conventional data security has traditionally provided a layered defense against intrusions, it is largely predicated on the computational limitations that quantum computers are expected to obliterate. The stark reality is that the standard security algorithms that guard much of our most sensitive data, today, could be effortlessly decrypted, tomorrow, using quantum machines. 

The solution to this looming tidal wave is not in fortifying the walls of our sandcastles, but in looking toward a new paradigm enshrining data security. Henceforth, despite the still-nascent nature of these risks, the technology required to address quantum security threats actually exist. True, whilst industry giants like Microsoft are only beginning to discuss the nature of these threats, the military, enterprises and leaders in cybersecurity are looking toward a data-level security approach such as exemplified by the Sertainty Self-Protecting Data technology. The novelty behind Self-protecting data encryption is that it allows each data file to become a cryptographically micro-perimeter and secure object that can defend itself, irrespective of the system it resides in. 

This type of self-protecting data that can resist quantum threats was recently discussed by my colleague Dr. Behzad Nadji in his whitepaper, “Quantum Computer Threats Against PKI Data Security and a Digital-ID Based Self-Protecting-Data Solution.” 

The similarity between quantum-enabled security threats and the recent surge in AI-enabled cybersecurity breaches perfectly illustrates how self-protecting data has the potential to address quantum threats. Like quantum encryption-breaking, machine learning algorithms can be commanded to simulate a“brute force” attack in which the sheer computational might foreseen in a quantum computer will break traditional cryptographic defenses in concert with AI algorithms that will identify the vulnerabilities that apply Shor’s Law. 

Likewise, generative AI’s rapidly growing capability to produce social engineering attacks — creating more sophisticated phishing attempts that can fool the most vigilant — is a precursor to the scale of disruption quantum computing will bring on the classical computing paradigm premised on Moore’s law. 

A data-level security approach addresses today’s Quantum Encryption and AI challenges by embedding a symmetrical – lattice-like protection scheme within the data itself. This implies that even if a quantum computer could process intercepted data, or an AI  fakes legitimate access of a user, the data will remain secure. The reason is that the Sertainty Self-Protecting Data mechanism requires authentication at the data layer, which is a significant departure from perimeter-based security models.

Thus, the data becomes its own sentinel, capable of making decisions about who can access it, when, and under what circumstances. This is akin to a biometric system that not only knows who you are but also understands the context of your request. If the context is inappropriate — say, during an AI-driven brute force attack or a quantum-decryption attempt — the data remains locked.

As we stand on the precipice of a quantum future, it is clear that a paradigm shift in our approach to cybersecurity is not just warranted but essential. The Sertainty approach to data-level security provides an archetype for the quantum age, ensuring that data can stand resilient against the foreseen formidable capabilities of quantum computers and AI-driven cyber threats. We must transition from defense-in-depth to data-in-depth, focusing on making the data itself an active participant in its defense. This is not merely a strategic choice; it is the cornerstone upon which the future of digital security must and will be built. 


About Amir Sernhell

Amir Sternhell, Chief Strategy Officer of Sertainty Corporation, has thirty years of experience in the Global IT and Corporate Learning Industries. Amir spearheads the strategic direction to set “Self-Protecting-Data” as a new global standard in the data protection space. He oversees Sertainty’s strategic thrusts and partnerships into Enterprises, Critical Infrastructure, and Defense.  

He has held senior positions whilst working for a leading IT company – close to two decades – that represented Harvard Business Publishing in the Latin American markets for fifteen years, whereby he became a Chief Learning Officer as well as a pioneer in the Corporate Learning world and was the first to deploy over fifty blended programs on Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity utilizing content from Harvard Business Publishing as means to generate ‘Leadership at every Level’. He was awarded the Most Valuable Distributor Award three times. 

Amir founded the first non-profit organization that assisted Israel’s burgeoning incubator system, later becoming the Vice Chairman of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, overseeing its High-Tech initiatives for two decades. Amir currently sits on multiple Advisory Boards and continues to help execute groundbreaking initiatives in the Tech Industry. He is a Keynote and Panelist at major industry and cybersecurity events.