Mindef to train cyber defenders

This article is more than 12 months old

The Ministry of Defence will train full-time national servicemen (NSFs) who have an aptitude for cyber security to become elite cyber defenders in the regular service, with a new short-term contract scheme.

From yesterday, any national service pre-enlistee enlisting from the second half of this year onwards, when the pilot scheme starts, can apply for it.

If selected, they will serve a total of three or four years in uniform, earning regular service pay after first completing a minimum period as NSFs.

These cyber specialists will take classes under the Singapore Institute of Technology's (SIT) cyber-security degree once a week, while being deployed in advanced cyber-defence roles, such as penetration testing, cyber forensics and malware analysis. The classes will earn them academic credits for an SIT degree later.

Mindef will start with 50 to 70 of these Cyber Specialist Awards for the first year and 80 and 90 when the trial ends after the first year.

The aim is to attract people with cyber-security expertise - an increasing need, given how cyber attacks are getting more frequent and how skilled individuals with deep expertise make a critical difference in this domain.

The awards come under a new Cyber NSF Scheme, which also includes NSF cyber operators performing more basic roles, such as round-the-clock threat monitoring and analysis. There will be about 60 operators a year in this role.

A memorandum of understanding between Mindef and SIT was signed at the SIT campus in Dover Road by Mr David Koh, deputy secretary (special projects) at Mindef, and Professor Loh Han Tong, SIT's deputy president (academic) and provost.

The award recipients will get to go for professional certifications such as Sysadmin, Audit, Network and Security (Sans) Institute courses, and could be promoted up to the rank of First Sergeant.