Singapore university partners Singtel to launch $30M cybersecurity lab

New S$42.8 million (US$30.8 million) facility will see National University of Singapore and the local carrier jointly conduct research and develop security tools, tapping data analytics and "secure by design" concept.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has joined hands with local carrier Singtel to jointly research and develop cybersecurity tools via a new facility.

Called the NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Research and Development Laboratory, the S$42.8 million (US$30.8 million) facility was located at the NUS School of Computing and supported by Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF).

The lab would aim to establish data analytics techniques to enable IT service providers to better detect and respond to cybersecurity attacks in real-time as well as new approaches to deploy IT system based on a "secure by design" concept.

NUS President Tan Chorh Chuan said: "Cybersecurity is absolutely crucial as Singapore strives to become a smart nation powered by big data and ICT technologies. NUS has identified cybersecurity as a strategic research area that has strong potential for high impact technology translation and partnership with industry."

Tan added that the lab would further support the university in training more students in the cybersecurity realm.

Singtel CEO of group enterprise Bill Chang noted that enterprises today were constantly challenged by rapidly changing and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Next-generation technologies and tools were necessary to improve capabilities and better safeguard enterprises and governments amid this landscape, Chang said.

NRF CEO Low Teck Seng added that the partnership would allow NUS researchers to work alongside Singtel and help drive cybersecurity research towards commercial deployment across Singapore.

The new lab would be led by David Rosenblum, Provost's Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NUS School of Computing. Its research areas would encompass four key areas, namely, data and cloud security, predictive security analytics, Internet of Things and industrial control systems, and cybersecurity systems based on quantum technology.

Quantum properties of light particles, for instance, could be tapped to secure data exchange between next-generation quantum computers and networks. NUS's Centre for Quantum Technologies would offer expertise in Quantum Key Distribution, or quantum cryptography, and in the development of quantum-based systems. Singtel also would use the cryptography to secure data transmitted over its optical fibre network.

In the next five years, the lab would support research initiatives involving more than 100 staff from NUS and Singtel as well as aim to train 120 cybersecurity professionals from undergraduate and post-doctoral levels.

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