Mindef looks to schools to identify talents to serve as cyber defenders during national service

The newly-formed Defence Cyber Organisation will seek to recruit students who are cyber talents to serve their national service by enforcing Singapore's cyber security.
The newly-formed Defence Cyber Organisation will seek to recruit students who are cyber talents to serve their national service by enforcing Singapore's cyber security.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung said future camps would be expanded and made more rigorous to better identify cyber talents.
Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung said future camps would be expanded and made more rigorous to better identify cyber talents.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE -  The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) will work with educational institutions to identify students who will serve their national service by defending Singapore's cyberspace.

Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung said winners and outstanding participants in school cyber-security competitions and camps  will be invited to try for the newly-formed Defence Cyber Organisation.

"This means that if you are selected for full-time national service, you serve by defending Singapore's cyberspace," said Mr Ong.

At the closing of the fifth Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp at the Singapore University of Technology and Design on Thursday (June 8), he said: "We should learn from our elite combat forces, to develop our cyber defence force also as an elite force comprising people with exceptional talents. Hence, recruitment must be highly selective, and the demands on the vocation will be exact and intense.."

Past winners who are active in the cybersecurity industry and who have completed their full-time national service may also be considered for a possible assignment to a national service role in cyber defence, Mr Ong added.

He was giving out awards to the winners of the five-day cyber-security camp's competitive segment organised by the Defence Science and Technology Agency and supported by Mindef.

 
 

The camp for pre-university and tertiary students aims to raise awareness of cyber security and to interest the students in a career in the field.

"We will expand future camps and make them more rigorous to better identify cyber talents," added Mr Ong.

Hwa Chong Institution student Won Ying Keat, 18, who was part of the winning team in the junior college/Integrated Programme category, said he is interested serving in a cybersecurity vocation. He is  due to serve his full-time national service in 2018.

"It'll be a good chance to use the skills I'm good at while serving the nation," he said.

Defence Science and Technology Agency director for cybersecurity Tan Ah Tuan said many of the camp's participants plan to pursue a career as cybersecurity professionals. "This is what we hope to achieve with the camp - to create awareness and nurture interest in cybersecurity among bright young minds with us today."