Singtel launches first-of-its-kind cyber security institute in Asia Pacific

Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong speaking at the launch of the Singtel Cyber Security Institute.
Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong speaking at the launch of the Singtel Cyber Security Institute.PHOTO: SINGTEL

SINGAPORE - Telco Singtel on Tuesday (April 26) launched its Cyber Security Institute (CSI), a hybrid between an advanced cyber range and an educational institute.

It is the first-of-its-kind in the region to test and train companies in dealing with sophisticated cyber threats.

Housed in a permanent space of over 10,000 sq ft in the eastern part of Singapore, the institute provides cyber skills development and education programmes tailored to the varying needs of company boards, C-suite management, technology and operational staff.

Boards and C-suite level participants will be trained in the areas of cyber threat awareness, risk management, business continuity planning and crisis communications. The cyber operations team will be trained in defence and response capabilities to sharpen their skills.

Singtel CEO (Group Enterprise) Bill Chang said: "Based on our engagements with companies in Singapore, more than 85 per cent do not have robust cyber response plans nor the opportunity to conduct realistic drills to test and sharpen such plans.

"This lack of cyber preparedness is worsened by the severe global shortfall of trained cyber security experts, which Forbes puts at some 1 million in 2016.

"This is why we've stepped up to the plate. We know we have to help companies secure themselves against a potential slew of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks."

Mr Chang added that CSI aims to to arm enterprises and public agencies with the necessary know-how to counter cyber threats in a holistic manner, helping them mitigate the risks and costs associated with cyber disruptions.

The facility can emulate the environments and operations of enterprises using state-of-the-art technologies.

Like other cyber ranges, CSI can simulate cyber attacks in order to test a company's inherent vulnerabilities, defence and response capabilities.

Unlike other ranges, however, the new facility can also replicate any company's operating environment and use the latest range of cyber threats, including an extensive library of viruses and malware, to simulate attacks.

In conjunction with the launch of CSI, Singtel announced that it is the first company in Singapore to work with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore on the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists (CSAT) programme.

The CSAT programme is an initiative by IDA and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore.

As part of this programme, Singtel will train fresh infocomm technology professionals and equip them with basic cyber security skills. It will also provide experienced cyber security professionals with the opportunity to enhance their skills by training with leading cyber security experts.

Mr David Koh, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency said: "A strong pool of cyber security talent is necessary to build a dynamic cyber security ecosystem that can support Singapore's Smart Nation journey.

"With the introduction of the CSAT programme and the setup of the Institute, we hope to encourage more to join the profession as well as enable cyber security professionals to hone their skills and stay a step ahead in the ever-evolving cyber security landscape."