Committee of Supply debate: Ministry of Communications and Information

New scheme to develop cyber security professionals

The Government will launch a Cybersecurity Professional Scheme in July to attract cyber security experts to the public sector, and to develop and retain them.

Centrally managed by the Cyber Security Agency (CSA), the national agency overseeing Singapore's cyber security efforts, the new scheme is part of plans to double the existing pool of cyber security professionals in the public sector to 600 over the next few years.

"The scheme will develop a core of cyber security specialists to be deployed across agencies to support Singapore's cyber defences," said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim during the debate on his ministry's budget yesterday.

Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC) had asked what the Ministry of Communications and Information plans to do to increase its cyber security capabilities and strengthen the cyber security industry here.

Dr Yaacob said officers recruited under the new scheme can look forward to a cyber security career in the public sector with postings to critical sectors and different public agencies.

It will focus on developing capabilities in areas such as cyber forensics, vulnerability assessment, and security governance and readiness.

"Protecting Singapore's cyberspace and critical information infrastructure remains a core mandate of CSA," he said.

The upcoming scheme will complement existing IT and security manpower training efforts, such as the Defence Ministry's plans to equip national servicemen with cyber security skills.

Mr Saktiandi Supaat (Bishan- Toa Payoh GRC) asked how the employability of tech personnel can be improved.

In response, Dr Yaacob pointed to the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA), launched last April. He said it has since trained 10,000 professionals in new tech skills to prepare them for the digital economy.

There are some 15 companies - including data analytics software firm SAS Institute, cyber security consultancy firm Deloitte & Touche Enterprise Risk Services and telco Singtel - under TeSA's company-led training programme.

"Going forward, we will continually expand TeSA's range of training partners and courses," said Dr Yaacob, adding that the company-led training programmes continue to see high placement rates.

Mr Zaqy asked about opportunities available for those above the age of 50 under TeSA.

Dr Yaacob replied: "IMDA (Info-communications Media Development Authority) is prepared to consider all professionals who may want to make that transition (to the technology sector)... The opportunities are in cyber security and data analytics, but this is something (about which) the individual will have to make the choice."

Irene Tham

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline 'New scheme to develop cyber security professionals'. Print Edition | Subscribe