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Singapore launches cybersecurity lab in university

Singapore has announced a 'national shared' cybersecurity facility at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to test cybersecurity tools and boost research.23 Feb 2017

The S$8.4 million (£4.8 million) site will provide a "realistic environment" for cybersecurity research and testing, the University said.

The National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory (NCL) is based in the NUS school of computing, and supported by the national cybersecurity research and development programme at the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore, the NUS said.

The lab is capable of simulating more than 1,000 computers to emulate large-scale cyber attacks, and capacity will expand threefold by the end of 2017, the NUS said

The NCL will provide users with ready-to-use tools for cybersecurity testing, as well as datasets that researchers can use to test their ideas and cybersecurity solutions, the NUS said.

The lab will also serve as a platform for cybersecurity researchers, both locally and internationally, to collaborate on research projects and share data, resources and knowledge, it said.

The facilities will be used for education, providing hands-on training for students and industry experts, the NUS said.

Research institutions and industry players are already leveraging NCL’s shared infrastructure to develop solutions for about 20 projects into software security improvements, cloud data storage safeguards, and the study of urban transport systems security, it said.

Mohan Kankanhalli, dean of the NUS school of computing, said: "Cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly complex and multi-faceted. It is therefore crucial to safeguard our infrastructure, networks and data as we strive towards building a Smart Nation. The NCL provides a ready-to-use, large-scale platform on which cybersecurity technologies and solutions can be simulated and tested in realistic environments. This would otherwise be very costly and challenging to achieve."

Singapore's finance minister Heng Swee Keats said this week that the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore is to begin work with professional bodies to train cybersecurity professionals, in a bid to strengthen the country's cybersecurity capabilities.

The Singapore government said last year that it will strengthen its IT infrastructure, increase cybersecurity capabilities and increase collaboration with other countries as part of a new cybersecurity strategy.

The strategy will have four components: strengthening the country's critical infrastructure; working with businesses and individuals; increasing cybersecurity capabilities; and working with other countries.