New programme to tap educators in updating youth on opportunities in cyber security

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s point agency on cyber security will work closely with educators in an effort to groom the next generation of talent in the field.

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) is launching the SG Cyber Educators programme, which will equip teachers, school leaders and career guidance counsellors with knowledge on the cyber-security landscape and career options through a series of engagements with industry players.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary announced the programme on Thursday (Nov 19) at the inaugural Singapore Cybersecurity Education Symposium.

Around 500 educators have signed up for the event, which is being held virtually over two days and is the first such engagement organised by CSA.

“Career choices are complex, and often bewildering for our youth. The advice provided by you – their educators – plays an important role, and… gives them the knowledge to help them make informed decisions,” said Dr Janil.

“We need to engage with educators like yourselves to raise awareness of cyber-security developments in this fast-moving area and career opportunities, and we hope that you can help the next generation of students develop their interests.”

Under the programme, school leaders and educators will also be able to attend regular information-sharing sessions with partners such as Cisco, Kaspersky Security and the Singapore Computer Society, as well as go on site tours conducted by CSA and industry players to learn about the different aspects of cyber security.

Dr Janil noted that there are diverse and rewarding career paths in cyber security, from security architects who design and secure systems for organisations to ethical hackers who conduct attacks and stress-test these systems to uncover vulnerabilities.

“And even if you are not going to specialise in this field, you will benefit from developing some cyber-security skills, because this is not just an issue about the laptops, desktops or servers,” he added.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary during the inaugural Singapore Cybersecurity Education Symposium on Nov 19. PHOTO: CYBER SECURITY AGENCY OF SINGAPORE

“A few years ago, hackers stole data from a North American casino using a cyber-security weakness in an Internet-connected fish tank thermometer.”

During Thursday’s session, participants heard from cyber-security professionals and CSA representatives on topics including what skills are in demand and what opportunities such as scholarships there are for youth interested in the sector.

Mr Garion Kang, vice-president of cyber-security professional organisation ISC2’s Singapore chapter and one of the speakers at the event, said: “In this day and age I don’t think there is an iron rice bowl anymore (in the tech sector). You have to constantly adapt to stay up to date on the latest advancements, and in cyber security that means you have to stay ahead of the rogue actors in a cat-and-mouse battle.

“The good thing is that cyber security will always need human intervention to pick out specific threats. AI and data analytics can filter out some of these but you still need a human to extract the ‘wisdom’ from the data.”

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