Sramana Mitra: That’s good segue into another question that I want to end this conversation with. There are lots of reports coming out now that quantum computing is becoming more of a reality. Quantum computing in the hands of the hackers is an incredibly dangerous phenomenon. How do you see the world changing as that threat becomes more real?
Rao Papolu: Technology has been changing. Why have these things like AI become popular? Because we have better computing power. In those days, computing was not there. Storage was expensive. You can mine information. You have to have visibility in your environment and you have to have complete security.
If you have all this happening, a CEO will be happy. If you are not making these things happen, there is always vulnerability. Look at FICO companies. They are providing information they themselves are not protecting. They want to protect, but hackers are smarter. How will you ensure security of your infrastructure? Your application is key here. Today, quantum is not new.
Sramana Mitra: It’s not new but it’s coming into the market. Conceptually it has been there for along time. When I was a computer scientist at MIT, we were in the early days of distributed computing. Subsequently, it came to the market and became mainstream. Right now, that’s happening to quantum computing.
That means there’s gong to be another notch of progress in terms of computing power. The threat of hackers having availability of that kind of power is going to create tremendous threat on the side of the people who have to protect themselves. Of course, they also have quantum computing to protect themselves with. It’s going to be another battle.
Rao Papolu: Enterprises have a wide variety of tools. Are they really utilizing them? Buying tools will not help the problem.
Sramana Mitra: You’re answering a different question. Maybe I’m not making myself clear. The question that I’m trying to get to is how much of the tools out there currently are vulnerable to be hacked by quantum computers?
Rao Papolu: That is very difficult to answer because certain tools can do certain things. For example, there are tools in security space called FireEye. There’s perimeter security. There’re privilege access management tools. All these public companies have specialized in certain things. Somehow, hacks get inside. How are you going to protect the whole infrastructure?
A simple example is Sony Playstation breach. It came from vendors. Hackers have various ways of attacking. Having these tools doesn’t mean you’re protected. At the end of the day, in spite of the tools, the CEO and CISO are at risk. The tools will not help solve the problem. There are many ways of attacking. Protecting is much more complex. Even a millisecond of lag in visibility is a problem.
All the tools are there. How are you going to protect? Depending on how you’re running the business – hybrid, cloud. Who are the people running? At the end of the day, you must have continuous visibility in your entire application and infrastructure. There’s always a risk.
Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.