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Singapore’s MINDEF announces initiatives to boost cyber capabilities



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Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced two new cyber expert schemes and opened a new Singapore Armed Force (SAF) Cyber Defence School (CDS) at Stagmont Camp yesterday (20 February).

Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How said in a MINDEF press release that these initiatives are part of MINDEF/SAF’s commitment to boost Singapore’s cyber defence capabilities.

The new expert schemes are: uniformed Command, Control, Communications and Computers Expert (C4X) vocation for military personnel; and the Defence Cyber Expert (DCX) job specialisation for non-uniformed personnel. These were created to develop a highly-skilled cyber workforce. Both schemes will work with cyber full-time National Servicemen to defend the MINDEF/SAF systems.

MINDEF/SAF aims to recruit about 300 personnel under these new cyber expert schemes.

Further, according to MINDEF, the SAF CDC trains cyber vocationalists to equip them with cyber skill sets and knowledge, to prepare for their deployment to the different MINDEF/SAF cyber defence entities. Courses to equip trainees with both foundation and advanced cyber skills are conducted here. There will also be regular reviews of the curriculum and programmes to ensure cyber defenders are well-trained to defend MINDEF/SAF’s networks effectively against advanced cyber threats.

Speaking on the sidelines of an Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) visit to Stagmont Camp, Minister Heng said: “Today, the SAF is using networks and a networked force to fight. So inherent in this approach is the use of high-end technology and digital means. This allows us to multiply the effectiveness of our forces. But at the same time, it also opens up us to being attacked by cyber means.

“This is why we have set up these cyber capabilities in order to defend our systems, to ensure that our systems are resilient against these attacks and that we are operationally ready so that we can protect our sovereignty and give peace of mind to Singaporeans.”

The announcement of the new schemes and SAF CDS was made in line with the launch of Digital Defence as the sixth pillar of Total Defence on 15 February 2019.

Photo / MINDEF

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