SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) will work with educational institutions to identify students who could serve in cyberdefence vocations when they do their national service, said Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (Jun 8).
He was speaking at an awards ceremony for pre-university and tertiary students who took part in this year's Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp, organised by the Defence Science and Technology Agency.
"To the winners and outstanding performers of this camp, you will take home your medals and prizes and you will be invited to go through the selection process to join the cyberdefence vocation," said Mr Ong, who is also Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills).
"This means that if you are selected, for full-time National Service, you serve by defending Singapore's cyberspace."
He added that for past winners who are active in the cybersecurity industry, or who are university students who have completed National Service, they could be reassigned to a role in cyberdefence as an NSman.
The cyberdefence vocation is a new one - for both full-time and operationally ready national serviceman - that was announced in March. It will be implemented in August and "cyberdefenders" are expected to perform roles such as monitoring networks and systems, responding to incidents and forensic analysis.
Mr Ong said the best way to identify people for the vocation is through nationwide cyber competitions, and that the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp will be expanded and made "more rigorous to better identify cyber talents."
He added: "We should learn from our elite combat forces, to develop our cyber defence force also as an elite force comprising people with exceptional talent. Hence, recruitment must be highly selective, and the demands on the vocation will be exact, will be intense."