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NUS and Singtel establish Corporate Lab to jointly create innovative cyber security solutions for a smarter, safer Singapore

24 October 2016 | Research
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Joint initiative part of Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme by NRF

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Asia’s leading communications group Singtel today launched the NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Research and Development Laboratory (NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Lab) to conduct research, and to develop capabilities and innovative digital solutions to protect individuals, businesses and public agencies in Singapore from a wide range of cyber threats.

The S$42.8 million joint research laboratory, hosted by the NUS School of Computing, is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under its Corporate Laboratory@University Scheme. The scheme supports the setting up of key corporate laboratories via public-private partnerships.

The new NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Lab was officially launched today by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, and Chairman of NRF Singapore.

Securing Cyber Space for a Smart Nation

With increasing connectivity and the rise of the digital economy, Singapore and Singaporeans are increasingly reliant on multimedia and information communications technology for economic growth and social development. Unfortunately, these same advanced technologies often have security vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit with increasing frequency and sophistication. This has resulted in high-profile security breaches, data leakages and other cyber attacks that caused severe economic, reputational, and other damaging consequences on individuals, businesses and governments around the world. It is therefore crucial to ensure security of Singapore’s key infrastructure, networks, information, websites, applications and end-user devices, as we aspire to become the world’s first Smart Nation.

The NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Lab seeks to create a broad spectrum of research capabilities and novel technologies to address cyber security threats. The new laboratory is guided by two objectives. First, the Lab aims to develop novel data analytics techniques that allow IT service providers to detect and respond to security attacks as they occur in real time. Second, the Lab aims to come up with new approaches to design and implement IT systems that are "secure by design", and thus able to resist a broad array of attacks.

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “Cyber security is absolutely crucial as Singapore strives to become a smart nation powered by big data and ICT technologies. NUS has identified cyber security as a strategic research area which has strong potential for high impact technology translation, and partnership with industry. We are very excited to partner Singtel, a leader in providing infocomm products and services in Singapore and Asia. With the support from NRF, the NUS-SingTel Lab will develop innovative solutions that enhance the protection of critical data and information systems in Singapore and beyond. This Lab will also enable NUS to attract and train more students to become cyber security professionals, which is currently a key manpower gap for Singapore.”

Mr Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel said, “Many enterprises are constantly challenged by the fast-evolving and increasingly sophisticated nature of cyber threats. Our collaboration with NUS and NRF will enhance our ability to protect enterprises and governments by developing next-generation cyber security technologies and solutions which we can quickly commercialise through our global footprint of product engineering and development centres. We also aim to attract top global talent to the Lab to groom cyber R&D professionals, and position Singapore as a strategic R&D hub for our global cyber security business.”

Professor Low Teck Seng, Chief Executive Officer of NRF Singapore, said, “This is an example of an NRF’s funding initiative that strengthens the connection between research and industry, so that R&D capabilities in the universities can be translated into solutions that have direct relevance in addressing national and global needs. Through this collaboration, NUS researchers will work alongside Singtel to translate cyber security research and innovations into technologies and solutions that can be deployed in Singapore, giving us the opportunity to address global challenges on cyber security with our capabilities.”

Helmed by Professor David Rosenblum, Provost’s Chair Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NUS School of Computing, the NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Lab will conduct research in four critical areas of cyber security. These are network, data and cloud security; predictive security analytics; Internet-of-Things and Industrial Control Systems; and future-ready cyber security systems based on quantum technology. Please refer to Annex for more details on the research themes of the NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Lab.

Over a period of five years, the NUS-Singtel Cyber Security Lab will host research activities of more than 100 research staff from NUS and Singtel. The laboratory also expects to train some 120 new cyber security professionals from undergraduate to postdoctoral level.

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