Mindef wants to hire more cyber security specialists, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Mindef wants to hire more cyber security specialists

This article is more than 12 months old

Mindef seeks to beef up cyber defences

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is on a recruitment drive for cybersecurity specialists whose mission will be to beef up its cyber defences.

It has also set up a new cyber training school that will conduct courses for such specialised personnel and also help improve cyber hygiene for servicemen and employees across the ministry and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

In a statement yesterday, Mindef said it hopes to recruit some 300 personnel to perform specialised operational roles in areas such as cyber incident response, monitoring of computer networks and testing for security weaknesses in IT infrastructure and applications.

The announcements were made on the sidelines of an Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) visit to Stagmont Camp, hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How.

Mr Heng said the establishment of these schemes and cyber defence school will put Singapore in a better position to defend itself against cyber threats.

"(We have set up these capabilities) to ensure that we are operationally ready even in the face of these attacks, so that we can protect our sovereignty and give peace of mind to Singaporeans," he said.

Singapore has stepped up efforts on cyber security after attacks globally and here, such as the WannaCry ransomware attacks in 2017 and SingHealth data breach last June.

Mindef was hit by theft of NRIC numbers, telephone numbers, and birth dates of 850 personnel in February 2017, with the attack executed remotely over the Internet.

Digital defence was emphasised recently with its launch as the sixth pillar of Total Defence last Friday.

In February last year, Mindef introduced a scheme for full-time national servicemen (NSF) cyber specialists, where they will take classes under the Singapore Institute of Technology's cybersecurity degree, while being deployed in advanced cyberdefence roles.

The 300 regular personnel will come under two schemes. These are the Command, Control, Communications and Computers Expert (C4X) vocation under the military experts scheme, and the Defence Cyber Expert (DCX) job specialisation for defence executive officers.

The C4X scheme will be implemented in the middle of this year. The DCX scheme started late last year.

The SAF Cyber Defence School, established last November, was opened yesterday by Chief C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence), Brigadier-General Ng Chad-Son.

For DCX and C4X personnel, up to 20 weeks of training will be done at the school, which will also conduct cybersecurity workshops for servicemen and employees of Mindef and the SAF to strengthen education on cyber standards, regulations and best practices, and to inculcate strong cyber awareness.