No Time to Lose: IBM and NCS Team Up to Save Singapore's Data
- By CDOTrends editors
- February 13, 2024
Singapore's enterprises are facing a new challenge: the advent of quantum computing. While this technological advancement promises significant breakthroughs, it poses a formidable threat to current encryption methods. Recognizing this, IBM and NCS have joined forces under a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to bolster quantum-safe readiness among Singapore’s companies.
The collaboration announced on 8 February 2024 aims to provide public agencies and enterprises with comprehensive quantum-safe and privacy-enhancing services. This initiative is timely, as data encrypted with today's public-key cryptography could be at risk of decryption by future quantum computers. The MOU underscores the urgency for companies to modernize their cryptographic defenses against these emerging threats.
IBM and NCS have also co-authored a whitepaper titled “Managing Risks and Opportunities for Quantum Safe Development." This document serves as a crucial guide for organizations embarking on their quantum-safe journeys, highlighting the vulnerabilities of current cryptographic technologies to "harvest now, decrypt later" attacks. Such threats involve adversaries stealing encrypted files to decrypt later with more advanced quantum computers.
Colin Tan, general manager and technology leader of IBM Singapore, emphasized the company's leadership in quantum-safe technology. "We have played a crucial role in the development of quantum-safe algorithms now being evaluated by the US government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)," he said. "Some of our latest enterprise infrastructure systems already come with quantum-safe cryptography to help organizations stay ahead of emerging threats."
Echoing this sentiment, Foo Siang-tse, senior partner for Cyber at NCS, highlighted the urgency of the situation. “The time is now for organizations to embark on a quantum-safe journey,” he stated. “Through this MOU with IBM, we aim to enable organizations to plan and execute their strategies for remediation. Clients can also leverage NCS’ expertise and end-to-end capabilities in transforming organizations’ security posture, processes and governance to secure their organizations for the quantum future.”
The whitepaper points out that many applications and systems in critical sectors like energy, transportation, finance, and government have long product lifetimes, necessitating extended data protection and privacy periods. With quantum computing technology rapidly evolving, these sectors must transition to quantum-safe solutions to safeguard against future risks. However, many companies lack a clear understanding of the current cryptographic technologies, making the need for immediate assessment and transition even more critical.
Image credit: iStockphoto/Moor Studio