Singtel’s new portal to help attract cyber security talent

Singtel’s new portal to help attract cyber security talent
TODAY file photo
Published: 4:00 AM, July 11, 2017
Updated: 7:17 AM, July 11, 2017

SINGAPORE — Telco Singtel has started an initiative to woo talent to the starved cyber security industry, using a website to show what a job in the sector entails.

Visitors to the interactive Singtel Cyber Security Experience (CSX) site, can test their skills by taking part in various challenges focusing on basic cyber-security terms, concepts and operational principles.

Those who do well will be invited to the Singtel Cyber Security Institute to join “cyber war game” sessions and get a taste of cyber-attack scenarios and defence approaches.

They will meet cyber security professionals or mentors to learn more about the jobs but are not expected to work with Singtel after the training.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch at the institute, Mr Bill Chang, chief executive officer of group enterprise at Singtel, pointed to recent cyber threats such as the widespread global ransomware attacks.

While cyber security is of “paramount importance” to the nation, Mr Chang highlighted the shortage of talent in this field. The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) expects demand for cyber-security professionals here to reach 9,700 by 2021.

The site is designed to introduce test-takers to “kindle their interest in a career in this fast-growing field”, he added. Aimed at students and mid-career professionals, the site features profiles of cyber security professionals and mentors from Singtel and its United States-based subsidiary Trustwave, as well as the CSA.

To date, Singtel has tied up with all five polytechnics here and the Institute of Technical Education to use the portal and raise awareness about cyber security. Since January, close to 1,000 students have taken part in a series of trials.

The telco has also partnered SkillsFuture Singapore agency to build the skills of mid-career professionals who are considering a switch to the cyber security industry.

These help to “cast a wider net to bring in suitable candidates who can form the frontline of Singapore’s cyber defence”, Mr Chang said.

Nanyang Polytechnic student Ibrahim Sharul, 19, who is studying cyber security and forensics, took part in the trial. He said: “We had to (consider other factors) in a real-life situation… We couldn’t just shut down but had to think about the other companies and users (involved), whether it would affect their reputation.”

He added that he has considered being a cyber forensic investigator but the trial opened his eyes to other career options, such as being a threat analyst to investigate threats and “get to the bottom of cyber crime”.Toh Ee Ming