Singapore opens $5.9M cybersecurity lab in local university

The "national shared" facility at the National University of Singapore serves as a testbed for cybersecurity tools and supports research efforts between academia and industry players.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singapore has opened a cybersecurity facility to support research efforts between academia and industry players and provide a testbed for product development.

Located at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the S$8.4 million (US$5.93 million) site would provide a "realistic environment" for cybersecurity research and testing, according to a joint statement Tuesday by the university and Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF).

It can simulate more than 1,000 computers to perform various tasks to create cybersecurity incidents, such as large-scale malicious cyber attacks. It also has a large database of malware that can be tapped for research and education purposes. These capabilities were expected to be further expanded three-fold by year-end.

The new facility is an initiative of the country's cybersecurity R&D programme, which is supported by various government ministries and agencies, including NRF, Cyber Security Agency, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Defence, as well as academia, research institutes, and enterprises. The national scheme focuses on driving research efforts and capabilities in cybersecurity as well as beefing up digital infrastructures, specifically, in terms of security, reliability and resiliency. NRF is parked under the Prime Minister's Office.

The new lab would look to provide ready-to-use tools for cybersecurity tests and data that researchers could use to support their ideas. It also would offer hands-on training for students and industry professionals concerning system vulnerabilities.

The lab would look at several key research areas including large-scale experimentation and validation such as studies on DDoS.

The NUS facility currently is supporting 20 projects involving research institutes and industry players and focusing on software security enhancements, cloud data storage, and urban transport systems.

Noting that cybersecurity threats were increasingly complex and multi-faceted, dean of NUS School of Computing Mohan Kankanhalli said: "The National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory provides a ready-to-use, large-scale platform on which cybersecurity technologies and solutions can be simulated and tested in realistic environments. This would otherwise be very costly and challenging to achieve."

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