Optical computing is the future of quantum computing; it works in parallel rather than in series.
Most classic computers operate in series, making them complex problems using light reflection and bandwidth compared to electronic systems.
The calculation speed depends on how quickly the information can be transmitted and how fast this information can be processed and calculated. Optical computing is paving its way into the technological world and it is the future of quantum computing. In optical computing, photons use wave propagation and the wave interference pattern to determine outputs. This allows instant calculation without delay. The data is processed as it is passed on. There is no need to stop movement and information flow for processing, thus transforming the computer industry.
What Is Optical Computing?
Optical computing, also known as optoelectronic computing and photonic computing, is a computing paradigm that uses photons produced by lasers/diodes for digital computing. Photons have been shown to offer us a higher bandwidth than the electrons we use in traditional computing systems. Optical computers would give us more power and be faster than electronic ones. Lesser data is exposed here as optical computing processes data while in motion. This leads to greater security than conventional systems.
Future of Quantum Computing
Optical computing refers to algorithmic calculations, operations, storage, and data transmission using light. Optical computers, in which packets of light quanta can replace processing electrical energy, are a very attractive future technology. Modern computer wiring can be easily simplified. In addition to this, optical computers can run at high speeds since there are no issues like cable inductance. Optical computing is paving the way for the latest technological approach to developing new computers, processors and other components.
Advantages of Optical Computing
There are some issues in the traditional computing systems that light can solve:
The resistance of the wires causes heat to be generated. This heat is so great that it would evaporate in milliseconds without a heat sensor in a microprocessor to turn it off if it overheats and a fan to cool it down. This limits the speed at which a processor can clock. But light can avoid such problems.
Every wire or transistor has a specific inductance and capacitance that introduces a propagation delay. As billions of transistors are stacked, the delays accumulate and pose extreme challenges for chip designers. The inductive effect is very powerful at the clock frequencies current microprocessors work. It’s not easy to increase the clock speed that much further.
Electricity is energy inefficient; it dissipates into heat and electromagnetic radiation. An optical signal can be sent to a distant place without a repeater. An equivalent electric cable would be much larger and heavier and require more power. A purely photonic computer could probably be faster and more efficient than the electronic one.
The field of photonics and optical computing has developed rapidly in the 21st century, yet very few applications are currently established. The future of quantum computing lies in optical computing, as it can run efficiently with a faster speed than traditional computing systems.
On email security in the era of hybrid working
With remote working the future for so many global workforces – or at least some kind of hybrid arrangement – is there an impact on email security we are all missing? Oliver Paterson, director of product management at VIPRE Security, believes so.
“The timeframe that people expect now for you to reply to things is shortened massively,” says Paterson. “This puts additional stress and pressure on individuals, which can then also lead to further mistakes. [Employees] are not as aware if they get an email with a link coming in – and they’re actually more susceptible to clicking on it.”
The cybercriminal’s greatest friend is human error, and distraction makes for a perfect bedfellow. The remote working calendar means that meetings are now held in virtual rooms, instead of face-to-face. A great opportunity for a quick catch up on a few emails during a spot of downtime, perhaps? It’s also a great opportunity for an attacker to make you fall for a phishing attack.
“It’s really about putting in the forefront there that email is the major first factor when we talk about data breaches, and anything around cyberattacks and ransomware being deployed on people’s machines,” Paterson says around education. “We just need to be very aware that even though we think these things are changing, [you] need to add a lot more security, methods and the tactics that people are using to get into your business is still very similar.
“The attacks may be more sophisticated, but the actual attack vector is the same as it was 10-15 years ago.”
This bears true in the statistics. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) found in its Phishing Activity Trends Report (pdf) in February that attacks hit an all-time high in 2021. Attacks had tripled since early 2020 – in other words, since the pandemic began.
VIPRE has many solutions to this age-old problem, and the email security product side of the business comes primarily under Paterson’s remit. One such product is VIPRE SafeSend, which focuses on misaddressed emails and prevents data leakage. “Everyone’s sent an email to the wrong person at some point in their life,” says Paterson. “It just depends how serious that’s been.”
Paterson notes one large FMCG brand, where a very senior C-level executive had the same name as someone else in the business much lower down. Naturally, plenty of emails went to the wrong place. “You try and get people to be uber-careful, but we’ve got technology solutions to help with those elements as well now,” says Paterson. “It’s making sure that businesses are aware of that, then also having it in one place.”
Another part of the product portfolio is with EDR (endpoint detection and response). The goal for VIPRE is to ‘take the complexities out of EDR management for small to medium-sized businesses and IT teams.’ Part of this is understanding what organisations really want.
The basic knowledge is there, as many organisational surveys will show. Take a study from the Enterprise Security Group (ESG) released in October in terms of ransomware preparedness. Respondents cited network security (43%), backup infrastructure security (40%), endpoint (39%), email (36%) and data encryption (36%) as key prevention areas. Many security vendors offer this and much more – but how difficult is it to filter out the noise?
“People understand they need an endpoint solution, and an email security solution. There’s a lot of competitors out there and they’re all shouting about different things,” says Paterson. “So it’s really getting down to the nitty gritty of what they actually need as a business. That’s where we at VIPRE try to make it as easy as possible for clients.
“A lot of companies do EDR at the moment, but what we’ve tried to do is get it down to the raw elements that every business will need, and maybe not all the bells and whistles that probably 99% of organisations aren’t going to need,” Paterson adds.
“We’re very much a company that puts a lot of emphasis on our clients and partners, where we treat everyone as an individual business. We get a lot of comments [from customers] that some of the biggest vendors in there just treat them as a number.”
Paterson is speaking at the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo Global, in London on December 1-2 around the rising threat of ransomware, and how the security industry evolves alongside this threat. Having a multi-layered approach will be a cornerstone of Paterson’s message, and his advice to businesses is sound.
“Take a closer look at those areas, those threat vectors, the way that they are coming into the business, and make sure that you are putting those industry-level systems in place,” he says. “A lot of businesses can get complacent and just continue renewing the same thing over and over again, without realising there are new features and additions. Misdelivery of email is a massive one – I would say the majority of businesses don’t have anything in place for it.
“Ask ‘where are the risk areas for your business?’ and understand those more, and then make sure to put those protection layers in place to help with things like ransomware attacks and other elements.”
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