MINDEF to recruit 300 cybersecurity experts, opens cyber training school

MINDEF to recruit 300 cybersecurity experts, opens cyber training school

cybersecurity experts
Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How and the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) were given a tour of the training facility at the Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

SINGAPORE: More cybersecurity experts will be recruited to step up defences in light of increasing threats, MINDEF said on Wednesday (Feb 20).

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) aims to recruit about 300 cybersecurity experts through two new schemes - one for military personnel and one for non-uniformed professionals - to take up various roles in the ministry's cyber entities.

Part of their training will also be carried out at a new cyber defence school, which opened on Wednesday afternoon.

READ: Commentary: Stop playing the blame game in a cybersecurity breach

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The Cyber Defence School opened on Feb 20, 2019. It trains cyber vocationalists to equip them with cyber skill sets and knowledge in preparation for their deployment to various MINDEF cyber defence entities. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

SHORTAGE OF CYBERSECURITY PROFESSIONALS

Personnel hired under the two new cyber expert schemes will undergo up to 20 weeks of training at the newly launched Cyber Defence School at Stagmont Camp. 

The school will also train full time national servicemen in cyber defence skills. It will serve as the centre for cyber defence training and education across MINDEF, and will conduct cybersecurity workshops for MINDEF personnel.

Serena Ong, a former cyber analyst, was recruited by MINDEF last year to become a Defence Cyber Expert (DCX). She performs specialised operational roles in areas such as cyber incident response and network monitoring.

"Currently there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals around the world,” Ms Ong said. “So this DCX scheme can help to widen the pool of candidates by including people from various different backgrounds even if they do not have background in computer science or computer engineering."

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Military personnel at the Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) conduct advanced training scenarios to reflect the latest cyber threat developments and possible cyber attack techniques. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

Serena will work together with military personnel like ME4 S Subash. 

He has been recruited into the SAF Command, Control, Communications and Computer Expert (C4X) vocation, specialising in military cyber operations.

"I will ensure that we bring in the latest technologies to ensure that we allow our assault monitoring teams to perform monitoring with the latest capabilities and also the cyber incident responders to have the right equipment to actually perform their tasks," he said.

ENSURING SINGAPORE IS OPERATIONALLY READY

These new initiatives follow the recent launch of Digital Defence as the sixth pillar of Total Defence.

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Members of Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) were briefed on the ministry's cyber defence set-up during their visit to Stagmont Camp, hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

READ: Digital Defence pillar added to Singapore's Total Defence framework to strengthen cybersecurity

Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How said the move will help defend Singapore's systems, making it "resilient against attacks" and will protect the country's sovereignty. 

Mr Heng was visiting the Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp together with Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) members. 

They were briefed on MINDEF's cyber defence set-up and were given a tour of the training facility, where advanced cyber defence training and exercises are conducted.

READ: Singapore can play ‘important role’ in cybersecurity for SEA region, says FireEye CEO

Source: CNA/aa(mi)

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