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  • Kyle Chua

Singapore Strengthening Network Infrastructure To Combat Quantum Computer Attacks

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Singapore wants to improve the resilience and security of businesses in the digital economy by making them safe from attacks by quantum computers.

Heng Swee Keat
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat. Credit: Bloomberg

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, at the ATxSummit Social, announced the launch of the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+), a new initiative that aims to deliver quantum-safe communications across the island nation.


Quantum computers can supposedly unlock unprecedented advancements in raw computing power, simulation and optimisation by using principles of quantum physics to solve problems too complex for classical computers. They, however, can also introduce new security risks, with the ability to break many encryption algorithms that users rely on today.


Singapore understands that it needs to be ready against any future security threats by adopting quantum-safe technologies to strengthen its digital infrastructure and build its resistance against quantum attacks. The country launched the National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) in 2022, leveraging more than a decade of quantum research efforts to conduct nationwide trials of quantum-safe communications technologies to enhance network security. In these trials, NQSN, along with university, company and agency partners, demonstrated the technical feasibility of deploying quantum-safe technologies, including Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).


The NQSN+ is part of Singapore’s Digital Connectivity Blueprint, which was recently launched by Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information, Mrs Josephine Teo. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is making early moves in the NQSN+ to enhance the security of local businesses.

Quantum Computer
Quantum computer. Credit: Reuters

The IMDA's NQSN+ wants to support network operators in their deployment of quantum-safe networks nationwide so that businesses have access to solutions that safeguard critical data. It's starting with at least two network operators, each of which will build a nationwide, interoperable quantum-safe network that can serve all businesses. Meanwhile, these businesses can also work with the NQSN+ operators in integrating quantum-safe solutions for their own needs.


Right now, the IMDA is evaluating the proposals it has received from Singtel and from a joint partnership between SPTel and SpeQtral.


The IMDA's NQSN+ is set to be Southeast Asia’s first quantum-safe network infrastructure.


The IMDA together with the NSQN team, are also driving international and local standardisation of quantum-safe technologies. Part of this involves Singapore co-leading the first standardisation of the QKD protocol framework at the ITU Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) in cooperation with Japan.


The IMDA has also signed an MoU with South Korea’s National Information Society Agency (NIA) to collaborate on quantum technologies and standardisation efforts. The collaboration looks to facilitate the exchange of learnings and experiences between the two countries' network operators.

 
  • Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat, announced the launch of the National Quantum-Safe Network Plus (NQSN+), a new initiative that aims to deliver quantum-safe communications across the island nation.

  • Quantum computers can supposedly introduce new security risks, with the ability to break many encryption algorithms that users rely on today.

  • Singapore understands that it needs to be ready against any future security threats by adopting quantum-safe technologies to strengthen its digital infrastructure and build its resistance against quantum attacks.

  • NQSN+ wants to support network operators in their deployment of quantum-safe networks nationwide so that businesses have access to solutions that safeguard critical data.

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