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Singapore to build National Quantum-Safe Network that provides robust cybersecurity for critical infrastructure

By IQT News posted 18 Feb 2022

(ZDNet) Eileen Yu, contributor to  ZDnet, describes Singapore’s buildout of a quantum-safe network that it hopes will showcase “crypto-agile connectivity” and facilitate trials with both public and private organisations. The initiative also includes a quantum security lab for vulnerability research. Inside Quantum Technology summarizes Yu’s discussion below:

The three-year initiative is led by the Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP), with SG$8.5 million ($6.31 million) set aside to fund its deployment. Supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the project has 15 partners from the public and private sectors including two local universities, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres, Cyber Security Agency, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The official announcement from QEP can be read here. IQT-News provides these comments: QEP was launched in 2018 to provide the research and ecosystem needed to drive the development of quantum technologies. Its work focuses on four key areas including quantum sensing, quantum communication and security, and the establishment of a national quantum fabless foundry.
Mr Ling Keok Tong, Director (Smart Nation & Digital Economy), NRF, said, “The new National Quantum-Safe Network aims to enhance network security for critical infrastructure with superior quantum technology and solutions, while also serving as a robust platform for public-private collaboration. This is a hallmark of translational research excellence and is also one of the key initiatives under the RIE2025 plan that bolsters Singapore’s ongoing transition into a trusted digital innovation hub.”
Dr Ong Chen Hui, Cluster Director (BizTech Group), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), said, “A National Quantum-Safe Network is an important step forward as we explore advances of quantum computing and network technologies. IMDA will continue to push the boundaries in frontier technologies, to architect Singapore’s digital future. Together with the NRF, NUS, as well as our industry and research partners, we will look into ways to operationalise and implement the quantum key distribution network on Singapore’s extensive fibre network infrastructures.”

Hosted on National University of Singapore (NUS), the NQSN would provide quantum key distribution, which offered a hardware approach to quantum-safe communication. This involved the installation of devices to create and receive quantum signals, QEP explained.
The network also would offer post-quantum cryptography, in which software was enhanced to run new cryptographic algorithms deemed to be resistant to attacks by quantum computers.
The NQSN initially would comprise 10 network nodes to be rolled out across the city-state, connected to fibre. These would include two at NUS, two at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and others on the premises of government and private organisations.

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