Cyber-security professionals have to keep upgrading skills against new online threats: Janil

Under the Youth Cyber Exploration Programme, secondary school students get to learn basic cyber-security skills PHOTO: CSA.GOV.SG

SINGAPORE - Cyber-security professionals will need to constantly upgrade their skills to keep up with hackers who exploit new technologies and business models that can lead people to trade security for convenience, said Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary on Friday (June 24).

"The threat landscape is constantly evolving because new digital technologies are always being developed," he said, adding that threat actors are continually finding new ways to exploit the technologies, penetrate systems and steal data.

Dr Janil was addressing participants of the Youth Cyber Exploration Programme (YCEP) Central Capture-the-Flag Competition at its award ceremony, which was held virtually.

The competition was organised by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and pitted teams of secondary school students against each other to complete a series of online challenges.

These tasks required the participants to use cyber-security skills that they had picked up at the YCEP boot camps.

Organised by CSA and the local polytechnics, YCEP is an initiative aimed at introducing secondary school students to the opportunities of a cyber-security career and equipping them with the relevant basic skills.

CSA said over 1,700 students have been trained under the programme since it started in 2018.

In his speech, Dr Janil said new cyber-security challenges will continue to appear as new devices, business models and technologies are introduced.

He also highlighted the importance of collaboration in the cyber-security scene, including private-public partnerships.

"With the ever evolving and complex cyber threat landscape, we need to combine efforts, share information, and have open discussions outside of just your technical team," said Dr Janil.

"This enables us to understand the adversaries we are facing to develop new ways to defend and protect ourselves."

He noted that the Government has engaged industry partners to develop initiatives that promote cyber-security awareness and education to the wider population.

An example is the CSA's recent partnership with security training organisation Sans Institute to provide training for YCEP participants. Topics covered include cryptography and network security.

Dr Janil said cyber-security professionals must also be tenacious in their work, noting that uncovering cyber threats which lurk in networks is not an easy task.

The minister also said their work builds and enables trust in Singapore's digital economy.

"As a cyber-security professional... you will also play an important role in creating a safe digital environment for all of us," he said.

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