Boardroom Excellence: Quantum Risk Management

Boardroom Excellence: Quantum Risk Management

Blog Article Published: 09/08/2020

By Maëva Ghonda, Co-Chair, CSA Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group

Boards only spend 9% of their time on risks.[1] Strategy and Performance Management still dominate the topics discussed at board meetings, 27% and 20% respectively.[2] Given the exponential increase of attack surfaces due to widespread remote work, i.e. work from home, coupled with the alarming regularity of cyber-attacks, it is pertinent that boards spend more time on risk management.[3]

Of increasing concern is the general lack of Quantum risk awareness among board members. Essentially, Quantum computers are a threat to our digital ecosystems—i.e. mobile phones, internet, social media, etc.—because they can potentially crack any classical encryption.[4] And, a quantum algorithm with that capability already exists, i.e. Shor’s algorithm.[5] Quantum computers will continue to arise at unpredictable speeds and conceivably cause astonishing impact to all organizations.[6] Yet, Quantum Risk Management is not a standard topic discussed at board meetings.

A Quantum-aware board of directors must become the new standard. All leaders should have an understanding of how this technology works.[7] For boardroom excellence, the board of directors of all enterprises should verify now that a well-defined Quantum Risk Management Plan is in place to help ensure that the organizations they oversee are Quantum resilient.

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CSA Author Bio:

Maëva Ghonda is a Cybersecurity and Quantum Risk Management Expert. Maëva’s articles on Blockchain, Quantum, and Cybersecurity are published weekly by the Cloud Security Alliance.

Maëva Ghonda is the chair of the Quantum Initiative Advisory Board for the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC). Maëva is also on the leadership team of ATARC’s Security Working Group. For the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), Maëva Ghonda is the co-chair of the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group. Maëva is also the group leader for CSA's team of 210 globally recruited experts creating Cybersecurity and Privacy Best Practices and Standards for Blockchain Technology. Maëva's global team includes the brightest minds from Facebook, Google, Amazon, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, and many more renowned institutions worldwide. For the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Maëva Ghonda is on the Editorial Board of IEEE’s Peer-Reviewed Blockchain Technical Briefs.

Maëva Ghonda’s interests include: Quantum Computing, Cryptography, Cryptocurrency, and Quantum Money.

Maëva Ghonda’s Articles

[1] Gius, D; Mieszala, J; Panayiotou, E. and Poppensieker, T. 2018. Value and Resilience Through Better Risk Management. McKinsey on Risk Number 6. McKinsey & Company.

[2] Hirt, M.; Lund, F.; and Spielmann, N. 2018. A Time for Boards to Act. McKinsey & Company.

[3] Amjad, A.; Nicholson, M; Douglas, A; Stevenson, C. 2016. New Perspectives on How Cyber Risk Can Power Performance. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

[4] Vermeer, M. and Peet, E. 2020. Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age. Managing the Risks to Encryption. RAND Corporation.

[5] Ménard, A.; Ostojic, I.; Patel, M.; and Volz, D.2020. A game plan for quantum computing. McKinsey Quarterly.

[6] Ménard, A.; Ostojic, I.; Patel, M.; and Volz, D.2020. A game plan for quantum computing. McKinsey Quarterly.

[7] Ménard, A.; Ostojic, I.; Patel, M.; and Volz, D.2020. A game plan for quantum computing. McKinsey Quarterly.

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