Quantum computing, a technology that has not yet become practically viable, is something that will help us solve a number of mathematically difficult problems such as accurately modelling highly complex systems such as the weather or the stock market. This cannot yet be done with contemporary computing.

However, this would make the Internet unsafe, as security is based on the assumption that certain problems cannot yet be solved. Quantum computing may change this.

It is in this context that Maltese computer scientist Dr Christian Colombo will be working on a NATO-funded project: Secure Communication in the Quantum Era. This project will aim to develop efficient security protocols whcih can keep the Internet safe should large scale quantum computing become a reality.

He will be joining forces with Prof Otokar Grošek from the Slovak University of Technology, Dr Rainer Steinwandt from the Florida Atlantic University, and Dr María Isabel González Vasco from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos to work on this project.