Scaling the security industry with new technologies and skills

Mr Oliver Ong, assistant general manager of Dou Yee Engineering, poses with a smart drone that operates autonomously.

SINGAPORE - From security drones that can detect an intruder's heat signature to robots that perform patrolling duties - these were some of the new technologies on display at the first Security Day held at the Toa Payoh HDB Hub on Saturday (Aug 26).

Organised by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and supported by the Ministry of Home Affairs, SkillsFuture Singapore and NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), the event was held in conjunction with the launch of the Security Productivity Initiative (SPI).

The initiative is aimed at helping security companies develop a competent and lean manpower workforce by raising their productivity through security technologies that can be scaled according to their needs.

Among the five companies showcasing their new technologies was homegrown firm Dou Yee Engineering with its smart drone, which operates autonomously and can be retrofitted with a normal video camera or infra-red and thermal cameras.

When an intrusion is detected , the drone is activated automatically. It flies to the spot and streams real-time footage to a command centre.

Said Dou Yee's assistant general manager, Mr Oliver Ong: "It (the drone system) will not fall asleep. Rain or shine, it can patrol as far as 2km from its base station."

Similarly, cyber sleuths have crippled terror and organised crime groups with the I2 tool set - a software that analyses data to reveal how criminals are linked.

Chief executive officer of Visual Analysis, Shane Britten, told ST that I2 has been used in counter-terrorism and match-fixing investigations. Data can be retrieved from social media, telephone records or even financial transactions.

Mr Britten said: "It's a software solution that can give you the 'big picture' in just minutes. While most of the services are used by law enforcement, there's scope for it to be used in the financial and banking sectors to investigate money laundering and fraud."

The SPI also aims to encourage employers to upgrade their capabilities through its WorkPro Job Redesign Grant, which offers up to $300,000 per company.

Appointed SPI consultants will assist companies to develop, implement and scale up their job redesign project.

Close to 700 jobs in the security line were also offered by eight employers at the Security Day event, which drew some 1,000 people.

In the face of rising terror threats, WSG said in a statement that security agencies continue to play a vital role as they complement law enforcement agencies to keep Singapore safe and secure.

Despite the demand for manpower, the industry continues to face challenges in recruitment due to an ageing workforce and changing career aspirations, said WSG.

One person who sees growth in the industry is Mr Freddy Yuam Jun Wen.

Mr Yuam, 27, a security executive with Certis Cisco, started his security career as a protection specialist but now holds a supervisory role.

Since joining in 2015, Mr Yuam has been promoted three times.

With sophisticated technology being used today, there is a lot more to learn through skills upgrading opportunities, said Mr Yuam.

He said: "You can climb. It's not true that (the security industry) is a dead line. I have proven that I can jump (in promotion) five times... Why can't others do it?"

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.