Singtel launches cyber security institute in Asia Pacific to hone cyber skills

Singapore Telecommunications Limited has taken a significant step to enhance the cyber security skills and preparedness of businesses and governments in Asia Pacific by launching the Singtel Cyber Security Institute (CSI).

A hybrid between an advanced cyber range and an educational institute, the CSI is a first-of–its-kind in the region to test and train companies in dealing with sophisticated cyber threats.

Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel said, “Based on our engagements with companies in Singapore, more than 85% do not have robust cyber response plans nor the opportunity to conduct realistic drills to test and sharpen such plans. This lack of cyber preparedness is worsened by the severe global shortfall of trained cyber security experts, which Forbes puts at some 1 million in 2016. This is why we’ve stepped up to the plate. We know we have to help companies secure themselves against a potential slew of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.”

Housed in a permanent space of over 10,000 sq ft, the institute provides cyber skills development and education programmes tailored to the varying needs of company boards, C-suite management, technology and operational staff. Boards and C-suite level participants will be trained in the areas of cyber threat awareness, risk management, business continuity planning and crisis communications preparation. The cyber operations team will be trained in defence and response capabilities to sharpen their skills.

“Cyber security is no longer just a technical issue to be tackled only at the operational level. It needs to involve all levels within an organisation including boards and C-suite management, and even external stakeholders such as regulators. We hope to arm enterprises and public agencies with the necessary know-how to counter cyber threats in a holistic manner. This will help them mitigate the risks and costs associated with cyber disruptions,” Chang said.

In conjunction with the launch of the CSI, Singtel announced that it is the first company in Singapore to work with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) on the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists (CSAT) Programme to train infocomm professionals in cyber security. Under this programme, Singtel will train fresh infocomm technology professionals and equip them with basic cyber security skills. At the same time, Singtel will also provide experienced cyber security professionals with the opportunity to enhance their skills by training with leading cyber security experts. Through this two-prong approach, Singtel aims to build a cyber security talent pipeline to drive its cyber security initiatives.

David Koh, Chief Executive of the CSA said, “A strong pool of cyber security talent is necessary to build a dynamic cyber security ecosystem that can support Singapore’s Smart Nation journey. With the introduction of the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists Programme and the setup of the Institute, we hope to encourage more to join the profession as well as enable cyber security professionals to hone their skills and stay a step ahead in the ever-evolving cyber security landscape.”

The CSI can emulate the environments and operations of enterprises using state-of-the-art technologies. Like other cyber ranges the facility can simulate cyber attacks in order to test a company’s inherent vulnerabilities, defence and response capabilities.

Unlike other ranges however, the new facility can easily replicate any company’s operating environment and use the latest range of cyber threats, including an extensive library of viruses and malware, to simulate attacks.