Harvest Now Decrypt Later

As the potential of quantum computing looms on the horizon, the world faces a new era of computational power that could revolutionize industries and accelerate scientific discoveries. However, this quantum revolution also raises concerns about data security and the risk of threats like the “Harvest Now – Decrypt Later” attack. In this article, we explore how organisations can safeguard their data today to protect against future quantum threats and the crucial role of symmetric keys in fortifying data security.

The Quantum Computing Challenge

Quantum computers leverage the principles of quantum mechanics to perform computations exponentially faster than traditional classical computers. The immense computing power of quantum machines could render current cryptographic algorithms, such as RSA and ECC, vulnerable to attacks, compromising the confidentiality and integrity of encrypted data.

The “Harvest Now – Decrypt Later” Threat

The “Harvest Now – Decrypt Later” threat refers to a proactive approach taken by potential adversaries who compromise systems to collect encrypted data today with the intention of decrypting it in the future when quantum computers are powerful enough to break existing encryption methods. The concept is based on the idea that even though quantum computers capable of breaking conventional encryption are not yet available, data collected today could be retained and exploited in the future.

Safeguarding Data for the Quantum Era

To address the emerging threats posed by quantum computing, organisations need to take proactive measures to safeguard data today for the quantum era. Here are essential steps to fortify data security:

Embracing Quantum-Resistant Cryptography: Transitioning to quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms, also known as post-quantum cryptography (PQC), is essential to protecting sensitive data from future quantum attacks. PQC algorithms are designed to withstand attacks from both classical and quantum computers, providing an added layer of security.

Strengthening Data Encryption: Data encryption is a fundamental aspect of data security. Encrypting data with strong symmetric key algorithms is crucial to safeguarding against brute-force attacks by both classical and quantum adversaries.  This is further enhanced with the integration of Quantum Random Number Generated (QRNG) entropy sources for the data encryption

Increasing Key Sizes: Symmetric key algorithms rely on the secrecy of the key to maintain data security. To thwart quantum attacks, organisations should adopt larger symmetric key sizes, such as moving from 128-bit to 256-bit keys, to enhance the difficulty of brute-force attacks.

Utilizing Quantum Key Distribution (QKD): QKD is a quantum-based solution that enables secure key exchange between parties. By leveraging the principles of quantum mechanics, QKD provides tamper-proof key distribution, ensuring that encrypted data remains secure against future quantum decryption attempts.

Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication: Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to access control, making it more challenging at the outset for potential adversaries to compromise data even if they acquire encrypted information.


The “Harvest Now – Decrypt Later” threat underscores the importance of taking proactive steps to safeguard today’s data for tomorrow’s quantum era. Organisations must remain vigilant in preparing for the potential risks posed by quantum computing advances.

Symmetric keys play a crucial role in data security, especially in the context of quantum threats. By adopting quantum-resistant algorithms and enhancing symmetric key practices, organisations can bolster their resilience against quantum attacks. Implementing robust data encryption, embracing quantum-resistant cryptography, and deploying quantum-safe solutions like QKD are essential steps to protect sensitive data from the evolving threats of the quantum era. With these measures in place, organisations can confidently navigate the quantum revolution and preserve the integrity and security of their data in an increasingly interconnected world.

Discover the best Symmetric Key Offering in Australia with Fortinet, Arqit and AUCloud 

Fortinet, Arqit and AUCloud have partnered to deliver an industry-leading security solution by enabling integration of FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls with the Symmetric Key Agreement Software operating from AUCloud’s sovereign cloud platform. The combined solution provides quantum-safe symmetric keys that can be created and rotated on-demand to encrypt and protect sensitive data between point-to-point VPN links. It also delivers enhanced security against today’s human-in-the-middle attacks and the future quantum threat, reducing the administrative burden and inefficiencies of current symmetric encryption solutions.

Contact us on 1800 282 568 or sales@aucloud.com.au to find out more.