Singapore ups investment in quantum computing to stay ahead of security threats
(ZDNet) Eileen Yu, contributor based in Singapore, continues coverage of the Singapore government’s recent announcement to increase funding for quantum technology by SG$23.5 million. Singapore leaders stressed the need to “stay ahead of malicious actors” in their announcements. Singapore wants to ensure encryption technology remains robust as well as to bolster funding to develop skillsets in quantum computing as well as to develop quantum devices. IQT-News summarizes Yu’s discussion below.
Singapore is aiming to boost its capabilities in quantum computing with new initiatives to develop relevant skillsets and quantum devices as it stresses the need to do so to ensure encryption technologies remain robust and able to withstand “brute force” attacks. The Singapore government on Tuesday announced plans to set aside SG$23.5 million (17.09 million) to support three national platforms, parked under its Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP), for up to 3.5 years. The scheme is part of the country’s Research, Innovation, and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020) plan.
In his speech unveiling the new initiatives, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat said the country needed to remain vigilant amidst intensifying threats.
Likening cyber threats to a “cat and mouse game”, Heng said efforts were made to stay ahead of malicious actors who continuously looked to exploit new gaps. With the cyber landscape fast evolving, he said quantum technology was a potential “game changer”.
“Strong encryption is key to the security of digital networks. The current encryption standard, AES 256, has held up, as few have the computing power to use brute force to break the encryption. But this could change with quantum computing,” he cautioned.
This underscored the importance of quantum technology research, the minister said. “Our investment in quantum computing and quantum engineering is part of our approach of trying to anticipate the future and proactively shaping the future that we want.” With increasing digitalisation came greater cyber risks, he said, noting that Singapore must stay invested to stay further ahead of potential threats.
He added that the fabless foundry would tap the country’s manufacturing capabilities to develop quantum devices, alongside industry partners, that solved “real-world challenges”.
Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990. She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.