The collaboration is supported under the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Quantum Engineering Programme (QEP).
ST Engineering and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have joined forces to develop network encryption solutions that provide superior security by leveraging quantum cryptography technology.
Current leading security standards such as those used in ATM machines or online transactions do not use quantum technology and this may pose a security risk when quantum computing technology becomes readily available. While these keys can still adequately protect digital communication, there have been reports of breaches and there is a need to explore alternative technologies.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) technology uses the laws of quantum theory to distribute secret keys over an insecure network. It uses the highly sensitive nature of quantum signals and can detect any attempts on eavesdropping, offering a secure form of encrypted communication.
The collaboration between ST Engineering and NUS will take this to the next level by using “measurement-device-independent” QKD (MDI-QKD) technology to heighten cybersecurity defence against increasingly sophisticated threats. It also operates efficiently under real-world conditions.
NUS researchers and ST Engineering engineers will make advanced quantum cryptography more accessible to the wider market and further advance this technology by developing a new class of “quantum-resilient encryptors”. These encryptors provide a highly scalable and cost-effective solution that can be deployed with minimal disruption to existing digital infrastructure.
Mr Goh Eng Choon, President of Cybersecurity Systems Group at ST Engineering, said, “The threat landscape is evolving very rapidly and we must be prepared for challenges to come in the post-quantum computing era. While QKD technology can be used to secure digital communications, it can also be used to mitigate future quantum computers being used to exploit and maliciously target weak links and disrupt the global encryption ecosystem. This research into quantum cryptography and the co-development of the industry’s first solution will allow us to explore the potential of this technology, further strengthen our arsenal of advanced cybersecurity solutions and gain a foothold in the QKD market.”
NUS Assistant Professor Charles Lim Ci Wen, who is the project leader for this collaboration between NUS and ST Engineering, said, “As quantum computing becomes more prevalent worldwide, information security threats will also become more advanced. This collaboration which leverages MDI-QKD will lead to quantum-resilient encryptors that are not only secure against channel attacks but also against detection side-channel attacks.”
Asst Prof Lim, who is also an NRF Fellow and a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at NUS, added, “Additionally, this collaboration provides a fantastic opportunity to explore how chip-based quantum devices can be integrated into commercial network encryptors, which could significantly reduce the cost of QKD technology.”
This text is adapted from a press release issued by NRF. Download the full release [PDF] here.
Image credit: Aki Honda / CQT, NUS