Train in cyber warfare at S'pore Poly

Train in cyber warfare at S'pore Poly
A cyber war game in progress during the launch of the Cyber Wargame Centre in Singapore Polytechnic on 3 January 2013. It is the first cyber war game centre to be based in a tertiary institution here and was set up with the help of partners including info-security provider e-Cop, ST Electronics and Paraben, a firm specialising in computer forensic software. It is being used by second- and third-year students in the Infocomm Security Management diploma course. In its laboratories, they learn how to attack and defend networks, analyse malware systems and investigate cyber security problems.

Information technology professionals who want to be trained in cybersecurity can soon do so at Singapore Polytechnic - the first local institute of higher learning that will offer such courses.

The move comes in the wake of a recent spate of attacks on Singapore websites since mid-October.

The school yesterday launched the Cyber Security Academy, which will conduct courses starting in January next year.

The academy will initially provide two cybersecurity courses taught by trainers from IT firm Ixia, which specialises in security. The polytechnic lecturers will also teach courses in future.

Cost details are being finalised.

The courses will be held in the school's Cyber Wargame Centre, a facility launched earlier this year which can simulate cyberattacks. This is the first time the centre, which is used by the school's infocomm security diploma students, is open to working adults.

The centre is equipped to handle large-scale simultaneous cyberattacks involving up to 7.5 million users. At the facility, organisations of various sizes can test how resilient their IT systems are against such attacks.

The need to train more experts in cybersecurity has assumed greater urgency, following recent cyberattacks on a number of websites including those of the Istana and the Prime Minister's Office.

"Recent events in Singapore and the world have heightened awareness of cybersecurity threats and prompted many organisations to revisit their attitudes towards cybersecurity," said Ms Jacqueline Poh, managing director of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, who was the guest of honour at the launch.

The setting up of the academy is in line with the National Cyber Security Masterplan launched in July, she said. There are also plans to offer infocomm security courses and degree programmes and more scholarships to encourage students to specialise in cybersecurity, she added.

Mr Naveen Bhat, vice-president of Ixia in Asia-Pacific said organisations that arm their networks with firewalls and other defence systems fulfil only "a rudimentary network security checklist".

This approach overlooks the more important role played by humans and this is where the academy can play a key part in training professionals in network security, he added.

The polytechnic will also partner info security provider e-Cop and ST Electronics to roll out more courses next year.

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