Singapore developing sustainable pool of cybersecurity professionals

Singapore is working to develop a sustainable pool of skilled cybersecurity professionals to improve the security in cyberspace, observed Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim while speaking at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity today.

A sustainable pool of skilled cybersecurity professionals is being developed  in Singapore.
A sustainable pool of skilled cybersecurity professionals is being developed in Singapore. Photo courtesy: pexel

For achieving that purpose, Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, which will facilitate a collaboration on cybersecurity capability and workforce development.

Moreover, CSA and the Info-communications Media Development Authority have established partnerships with PwC Singapore and PCS Security as part of the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists programme to train and equip professionals with ICT or engineering backgrounds to take on cybersecurity jobs through company-led training.

The Minister also gave information about the Cybersecurity Bill which will be introduced in Parliament in 2018 though it was expected to be tabled this year. The Singapore government has consulted various stakeholders, including sector leads, potential critical information infrastructure (CII) owners, and the wider industry and public in developing the Bill. The period of public consultation has also been extended

The Minister added that most of the suggestions and feedback are constructive and useful and are currently being studied.

Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim
Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim. Photo courtesy: gov.sg

He also said Cybersecurity Act would ensure CII owners secure their infrastructure and report incidents, and also empower the CSA to manage cyber incidents and raise the standards of cybersecurity vendors here.

Dr Yaacob also shed light on the steps taken by ASEAN countries in the sphere of cybersecurity.  He said, “Indonesia recently established its national cyber agency - the National Cyber and Cipher Agency (or Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara). The new agency combines the capabilities of the Indonesia Security Incident Response Team on Internet Infrastructure and the State Cipher Agency under one roof to better coordinate the country’s efforts in cybersecurity”.

“Malaysia, too, has taken steps to enhance its cybersecurity talent pool. Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation signed an agreement in December 2016 with the UK’s Protection Group International to set up a cybersecurity academy - the UK-APAC Centre of Security Excellence - in the country, and the academy will introduce UK GCHQ-accredited cybersecurity courses that will help professionals there operate at a high international standard,” he added.

The Minister reiterated that Singapore is committed to foster close relationships with other ASEAN nations to build up regional cyber capacity, and it will deepen its support in this regard.

He announced that for the next three years, Singapore will set aside SGD1.5 million of the SGD10 million ASEAN Cyber Capacity Building programme announced in 2016 to build technical capability among incident responders and operators in the region. The Government will also partner the industry to run an ASEAN Cybersecurity Industrial Attachment Programme, which will offer training opportunities here for up to 18 candidates from ASEAN member states.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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