Concerns over the potential threat posed by quantum computers to current encryption methods – the so-called “quantum apocalypse” – are motivating countries to invest in quantum-resistant encryption and quantum key distribution. But these are not silver bullets – governments and companies will also have to address various organisational and operational issues that already pose a challenge for implementing traditional cybersecurity. There will be a need to take stock of existing systems, assess future needs, and prepare organisations for an eventual transition to suitable countermeasures. However, engaging in this process is likely to be out of reach for many smaller organisations, and governments will have to step in, particularly to safeguard companies involved in critical infrastructure and developing sensitive technologies. Furthermore, there will be a need to build the capabilities of information security officers and in-house cybersecurity teams. The question is how this can be achieved when traditional cybersecurity is already proving to be a persistent challenge.
Organised by the Future Issues and Technology Research Cluster with support from the Centre of Excellence for National Security, RSIS.
About the Panellists
Robert Bedington is co-founder and CTO of SpeQtral, a quantum communications company based in Singapore specialising in satellite quantum key distribution. SpeQtral is a spin-out company from the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, where Robert was previously a senior research fellow and satellite team lead for the SpooQy-1 cubesat mission. SpooQy-1 launched in 2019 and is currently the only quantum cubesat in orbit. In the same year, Robert was recognised by MIT as one of ten Innovators under 35 for the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, he worked as a JSPS fellow researching the miniaturisation of satellite instrumentation for plasma analysis at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and for his PhD at University College London, he developed a miniature plasma analyser that was launched on the PoleCATS sounding rocket mission. He has a Physics degree from the University of Durham.
David Joseph studied pure mathematics at Durham University before pursuing a PhD at Imperial College, London in quantum computing algorithms to try and break lattice-based cryptosystems. During this time, he investigated methods derived from adiabatic quantum algorithms, implementing such attacks on the D-Wave quantum annealer and analysing their performance via quantum machine learning techniques. In April 2020, David joined a quantum and AI team in X, the moonshot factory at Alphabet, for a 4-month residency, continuing to work at the interface of quantum computing and cybersecurity. At X, he started a group looking into the transition from quantum-vulnerable cryptography to post-quantum cryptography. He has remained a part of this team ever since, joining as a founding employee of SandboxAQ after it left Alphabet in late 2021. David is an author of the Nature paper “Transitioning Organizations to Post-Quantum Cryptography,” published in May 2022, written with colleagues from Alphabet and SandboxAQ.
Henning Soller is a Partner of McKinsey & Company in its Frankfurt office. He is a core part of McKinsey’s technology practice and a member of the McKinsey Technology Council, leading efforts on quantum technology globally. He has been serving banks and public sector institutions on their major technology transformations. Henning holds a PhD degree in Physics from the University of Heidelberg as well as diploma degrees in Mathematics, Physics and Business Administration from the Universities of Heidelberg and Hagen. He has studied at the Universities of Kaiserslautern, Hagen, Heidelberg, Madrid and Eugene, Oregon. He holds a Master of Science Degree from the University of Oregon.
Alexander Ling is Director of the Quantum Engineering Programme since 2020 and a Centre for Quantum Technologies Principal Investigator since 2010. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore, and now lead PI for Singapore’s National Quantum-Safe Network. Alexander’s research aims to bring quantum instruments out of the lab and into field deployment. His research group has built and tested instruments in diverse environments, including trials of quantum communication devices on Singapore’s urban fibre networks and demonstrations of quantum technology on nanosatellites in space. Alexander is a co-founder of two startups, S-Fifteen Instruments and SpeQtral.