SINGAPORE: A new Cybersecurity Professional Scheme for the public sector was revealed by the Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim on Monday (Mar 6).
Speaking during his ministry’s Committee of Supply (COS) debates in Parliament, Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister-in-charge of Cyber Security, said the scheme is aimed to attract, develop and retain cybersecurity practitioners (CSPs) in the public sector. There are currently about 300 officers doing cybersecurity work in the public sector, and the Government hopes to double this over the next few years, he said.
Centrally managed by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), the scheme will develop a core of cybersecurity specialists to be deployed across agencies to support Singapore’s cyber defences, Dr Yaacob said.
Besides gaining practical experiences through postings to the 11 critical sectors and different public agencies, CSPs can choose to build deeper technical competencies across the Government in areas such as security-by-design consultancy and cyber forensics.
The scheme will be operational from July this year, MCI said.
“As part of the on-going efforts to professionalise the wider cyber workforce, the scheme will also provide a framework to catalyse growth and uplift the overall industry,” Dr Yaacob said.
The scheme is in addition to other manpower development efforts previously announced or during the current COS such as the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists (CSAT) programme and the Ministry of Defence announcing its new NS cyber vocation, and will help complement these, he added.
The minister also noted efforts by the private sector to grow the industry, pointing to Singtel, for instance, and its interactive online portal called the Cyber Security Experience. The portal, which will be launched soon, will reach out to students to interest them in the topic and hopefully get them to join the field in the future, he said.
The increased focus on cybersecurity, particularly in the public sector, comes amid the revelation that MINDEF’s Internet-facing I-net system was breached and personal data of 850 national servicemen and staff were stolen.