Singapore

S'pore to set up school to train cyber-security professionals

The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will create its first academy to boost the skills of cyber-security professionals in government and critical sectors in Singapore, such as energy, healthcare and transport.

Announcing the new academy yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said training is one of the key pillars of a more secure and resilient digital community.

"Singapore is more exposed than many other countries to cyber attack. We are already highly connected and aim to become more so," he said, at the opening of the second annual Singapore International Cyber Week at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Training at the new academy is expected to begin later this year, but details such as funding and cohort size are still being worked out.

The CSA Academy was mooted to "plug gaps" in the skills of cyber-security professionals who manage information technology (IT) industrial control systems, such as those that control the production and distribution of energy and water, said CSA chief executive David Koh.

Mr Naveen Bhat, managing director of cyber-security firm Ixia in Asia Pacific, said public sector-led academies such as the CSA Academy are rare.

He said they are necessary, adding: "Current programmes in universities and polytechnics cannot meet market needs (for cyber experts)."

The announcement comes at a time when awareness of cyber security is at a high.

In a recent Singapore Cyber Landscape report, the CSA highlighted cyber attacks that hit some of the 11 critical sectors here and a state-sponsored attack on an unnamed government agency last year.

Mr Teo yesterday added that a strong legal framework was needed to underpin cyber safety, and Singapore will be tabling a Cyber Security Bill in Parliament next year.

Among other things, it will require private and public organisations to report breaches that involve critical infrastructure to the CSA.

"This Bill will enable us to take pre-emptive action to protect against cyber threats and improve our capability to respond to incidents," he said.

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