quantum safe

(Source – Fortinet)

Singapore’s quest for quantum-safe future gets a boost from Fortinet

With quantum computing taking a huge step forward globally, Singapore is also keeping up with the innovations in the field. The Singaporean government recently launched the National Quantum Computing Hub, a joint initiative between several bodies and the National University of Singapore (NUS) that aims to prepare the nation for the next era of computing.

As such, investments in the field, especially in quantum computing and quantum engineering has been increasing, with more organizations working together to develop more use case for the industry in the future.

In the past several months, Singapore has already witnessed several major announcements in quantum computing. The country is already leading the research and development for quantum use cases in the region. Although, experts have said that Singapore, like the rest of the world, is still a long way from adopting real-world quantum computing use cases.

Nevertheless, research in the field is still going at an unprecedented pace across the world. And it’s no surprise why the Singapore government announced plans to set aside SG$23.5 million to support its Quantum Engineering Program for the next three and a half years.

In Japan, homegrown quantum computers are a reality the country hopes to achieve by the end of March next year. Japan also hopes to have 10 million people using the technology by 2030. On the hand, the US has already taken a major step forward in adapting quantum computing in cybersecurity as the country feels the technology could be used to deal with cyber threats in the future.

In fact, quantum computing cybersecurity is expected to be on the agenda for most countries in the near future. As such, some cybersecurity companies are also looking to see how they can play a part in the development of quantum computing cybersecurity.

Among them is Fortinet. The cybersecurity company has announced a collaboration with Singapore’s Quantum Engineering Program (QEP) to support Singapore’s National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) project. Funded by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF), the NQSN seeks to develop an ultra-secure communications and services infrastructure to safeguard digital transactions against sophisticated cyber threats.

Preparing for a quantum-safe Singapore

Fortinet’s work with NQSN will support QEP in developing proof of concepts and jointly explore use cases for quantum-safe communications. Fortinet will provide resources in network security including prototypes that can interface to quantum devices for trials within the NQSN. The NSQN is hosted in NUS and funded by National Research Foundation.

Fortinet has already demonstrated capabilities to interoperate with a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system. QKD technology can create random encryption keys and transmit them in a secure way across a fiber connection. Leveraging on its capabilities to offer security-driven networking solutions, Fortinet’s firewalls were able to receive randomly-generated quantum keys, and use them to encrypt data to be sent 20 kilometers remotely using Fortinet IP-VPN (Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network) solutions to provide quantum-safe encryption.

According to Alexander Ling, Director of the QEP and an Associate Professor at NUS, the National Quantum-Safe Network will rely on public-private collaborations to become an effective testbed. It needs to bridge advanced quantum-safe communication technologies to practical use-cases.

As a partner in NQSN, Fortinet is at the forefront of the forward-looking national initiative that seeks to thwart cyber attacks from future, large-scale quantum computers and identify new use cases for quantum technologies. Through this collaboration, Fortinet will support Singapore’s ongoing transition into a trusted digital innovation hub.

For Jess Ng, Fortinet Country Head of Singapore and Brunei, Fortinet is dedicated to being at the frontline of Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives, through a range of private and public sector cybersecurity partnerships.

Ng explained that Fortinet’s support for the QEP will boost the development of quantum-safe communication technologies that will transform the digital landscape. This will also set the stage for organizations to adopt a security-driven networking approach when it comes to future deployment.