Roping in educators to help boost cyber security

New scheme aims to work closely with them so they can help students develop interests

The SG Cyber Educators programme will equip teachers, school leaders and career guidance counsellors with knowledge on the cyber-security landscape.
The SG Cyber Educators programme will equip teachers, school leaders and career guidance counsellors with knowledge on the cyber-security landscape.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore's point agency on cyber security will work closely with educators to groom the next generation of talent in the field.

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) is launching the SG Cyber Educators programme, which will equip teachers, school leaders and career guidance counsellors with knowledge of the cyber-security landscape and career options through a series of engagement efforts with the industry.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary announced the programme yesterday at the inaugural Singapore Cybersecurity Education Symposium.

Around 500 educators signed up for the event, which is being held virtually over two days and is the first such engagement organised by CSA.

"Career choices are complex, and often bewildering for our youth. The advice provided by you - their educators - plays an important role, and... gives them the knowledge to help them make informed decisions," said Dr Janil.

"We need to engage with educators like yourselves to raise awareness of cyber-security developments in this fast-moving area and career opportunities, and we hope that you can help the next generation of students develop their interests."

Under the programme, school leaders and educators will also be able to attend regular information-sharing sessions with partners, such as Cisco and Kaspersky Security, and go on site tours to learn more about cyber security.

Dr Janil noted there are diverse and rewarding career paths in cyber security, from security architects who design and secure systems to ethical hackers who test them to uncover vulnerabilities.

"And even if you are not going to specialise in this field, you will benefit from developing some cyber-security skills, because this is not just an issue about the laptops, desktops or servers," he added.

"A few years ago, hackers stole data from a North American casino using a cyber-security weakness in an Internet-connected fish tank thermometer."

Yesterday's session covered topics such as the skills that are in demand and what scholarships and opportunities there are for youth interested in the sector.

Mr Garion Kang, vice-president of cyber-security professional organisation ISC2's Singapore chapter and a speaker at the event, pointed out: "In this day and age, I don't think there is an iron rice bowl anymore (in the tech sector). You have to constantly adapt to stay up to date on the latest advancements.

"The good thing is that cyber security will always need human intervention to pick out specific threats."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2020, with the headline 'Roping in educators to help boost cyber security'. Print Edition | Subscribe