Plans in place for homegrown cyber security skills and tools

Singapore

A SAFE and trusted cyberspace is essential for a Smart Nation, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament on Monday.

He said cyber security presents economic opportunity complementary to Singapore's strengths, and added that "a strong cyber security ecosystem will provide expertise and solutions that contribute to a more resilient digital infrastructure".

Dr Puthucheary, who is also Senior Minister of State for Transport, announced various measures to boost the development of homegrown cyber security talent and products.

Singapore's newfound ability to certify cyber security products to international technical standards - a status attained in January - was touted as a building block for the industry.

Its status under the worldwide Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement means local companies can save time and money as they can now develop globally recognised products here at home, said Dr Puthucheary.

Calling the achievement "a step towards becoming a regional hub for product evaluation and certification", he added: "We are attracting global evaluation laboratories to anchor their operations in Singapore."

To encourage small and medium-sized enterprises here to build more secure products that conform to Common Criteria standards, the Accreditation@SG Digital scheme will add a new track - dubbed "SecureTech" - for Common Criteria-certified products from the current quarter of this year.

At the same time, an industry call for innovative solutions, originally launched by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) last September, will be expanded this year.

On the talent front, Dr Puthucheary said agencies and other stakeholders are working closely together "to strengthen the pipeline of cyber security professionals, deepen their skills and technical expertise, and improve the career progression and recognition for the profession".

Measures in place include a government-supported on-the-job training scheme for the private sector, where eight firms have pledged to prepare more than 900 professionals by 2021. Inter-agency efforts are also being made to develop and deploy cyber security specialists across the public sector.