SINGAPORE - A camp on raising interest in cybersecurity among young people has attracted a record number of participants - 400, a 20 per cent jump from last year.
The four-day camp, which ended on Monday (June 6), taught students from universities, polytechnics, junior colleges and Integrated Programme schools cyber defence skills and techniques.
Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Permanent Secretary for Defence, said at an award ceremony for the camp on Monday that having more participants "certainly reflects a growing interest in cyber defence, which has become an increasingly important pillar of our defence strategy".
This comes even as government data has shown that about 15,000 technology job vacancies could not be filled in 2014 and Singapore is expected to find itself short of a total of 30,000 technology specialists by next year.
Said Mr Tan Ah Tuan, director of cybersecurity at the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA): "There's a shortage of manpower - there's no doubt about that but with our efforts to build up a pool of cybersecurity professionals, it will ease over time."
The camp, organised by DSTA and supported by the Ministry of Defence, ended with a competition in which teams of students had to defend their own IT systems while detecting holes in the systems of other teams.
Mr Ang Zhi Yuan, 21, whose team bagged the first place in the university-polytechnic category, said the camp was "was really an eye-opener".
Mr Ang, who is waiting to enter National University of Singapore's computer science course this year , added that the camp "showed us what kind of risks there are and what measures we can take to counter them".