As Singapore aims to meet the demands of its cybersecurity evaluation needs, it has set up a new facility to assess and certify systems for their cybersecurity robustness.
The US$13.99mn National Integrated Centre for Evaluation (NICE) will facilitate vulnerability assessment of software and hardware products, physical hardware attacks, and security measures, said Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which jointly launched the facility.
Manufacturers and developers will be able to have their products tested and certified at the new centre, through which the government hopes to drive the testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) sector for cybersecurity.
Located on NTU Smart Campus, NICE would provide this access to evaluators and developers as well as house a team of research and technical staff with the expertise to use the equipment.
David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive of CSA, said: “As we move towards a digital future, it is important to ensure that new emerging technologies are designed securely. This collaboration between CSA and NTU underlines CSA’s continual commitment in working with institutions of higher learning and industry to build up the cybersecurity manpower pipeline and facilitate a national cybersecurity ecosystem that will provide good business opportunities and jobs.”
Protecting end users from the rising cyber threats
The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) and increasing use of cyber-physical systems has led to the growth of devices and hardware components, such as communication points and sensors.According to a forecast by Business Insider Intelligence, it is estimated that there will be 64 billion IoT devices globally by 2025.
These components present themselves as potential entry points for hackers and malicious actors. End users have little means to assess if these components are secure and need to rely on independent experts to perform such security evaluation.
NTU Deputy President and Provost Professor Ling San said: “The rising threat of cyberattacks makes it vital that institutions, companies and agencies stay one step ahead of cyberthreats. Properly evaluating hardware to ensure that they are designed with security in mind, rather than added on as an afterthought, is the first step in keeping our cyber-physical systems safe. NTU’s collaboration with CSA to set up NiCE leverages the University’s strengths in areas such as computer science and engineering research and brings together industrial and research expertise in cybersecurity. The centre will also provide training and education to graduate students and industry professionals, allowing us to upskill and groom an important talent pool in this growing industry. This partnership underscores NTU’s commitment as an academic anchor for industry partners.”
Testing and certifying products
The US$13.99mn centre will provide support to the industry in three areas: creating a community of practice, developing a research eco-system, and furthering education and training.
It added that NICE would support Singapore's push for greater security evaluation by providing a central platform on which to test and certify products. The centre also would facilitate research and development in advanced security evaluation techniques.
In addition, Singapore Accreditation Council (SAC) would work closely with CSA and NiCE to develop relevant accreditation programmes. These would include SAC's IT testing programmes that enabled accredited TIC companies to assure the accuracy and consistency of their test reports and certificates that facilitated CSA's initiatives, such as the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS).