As Singapore makes progress on its Smart Nation journey, harnessing technology to transform how people live and work is crucial. To do this, the government is planning to improve digital literacy and making technology accessible to everyone. Plans are in place to digitise Singapore’s industries and businesses, especially the infocomm media industry. In this digital evolution, cybersecurity cannot be sidelined.
Singapore’s journey towards becoming a Smart Nation hinges on the integration of technology into everyday life. Embracing technology invariably escalates the risk of cyber threats. Such threats can interrupt essential services, compromise personal data, and impact our economic health.
By prioritising cybersecurity, Singapore ensures the safety and trustworthiness of its smart systems. Such trust encourages businesses to invest, innovate, and operate securely within the Smart Nation ecosystem. As the protection of citizen data and infrastructure underpins privacy and national security, Cybersecurity stands as the cornerstone of Singapore’s Smart Nation ambitions, safeguarding our progress, prosperity, and peace of mind in the digital age.
Recognising the importance of cybersecurity is only the first step. Singapore faces well-documented shortages in its local tech workforce. 84% of IT employers reported not being able to hire talent with the requisite skillsets, according to data from Manpower Group. While three in four are looking to invest in upskilling and reskilling their employees, foundational measures need significant enhancement. It is essential to encourage youths from a young age to view technology as a promising career path This entails highlighting the benefits and instilling enthusiasm and eagerness to delve into tech and cybersecurity domains. Students should be encouraged to consider careers in tech, and by extension cybersecurity, from a young age.
As cyber threats become more complex and the need for cybersecurity services intensifies, it is imperative for educational institutions and employers to foster a growing interest in this field. Collaborative efforts between these two entities such as workshops, internships, or co-op programmes can provide students invaluable hands-on experience, sparking students’ interest and equipping them with practical skills. Mentorship programmes providing personal guidance and industry insights can help students effectively navigate the cybersecurity landscape. Additionally, financial incentives such as scholarships and grants for students pursuing related degrees or certifications can further motivate them towards this career path. Lastly, awareness initiatives, such as hackathons and competitions also play a crucial role in enhancing engagement and knowledge in this domain.
Ensign InfoSecurity is committed to building a strong cybersecurity environment in Singapore. Asia’s largest pureplay end-to-end cybersecurity solutions provider recently hosted over 100 students from local institutions like Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, National University of Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University at its second annual Open House. Themed ‘Unleash the Cyber Warrior in You’, this year’s programme aimed to provide an immersive and informative experience for students interested in pursuing careers in cybersecurity. This year’s Open House added a Capture The Flag (CTF) challenge which offered participants an engaging platform, featuring an array of tasks from trivia and riddles to puzzles and technical challenges.
According to ISC²’s 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, Singapore’s cyber security workforce actually decreased 16.5% from 2021 to 2022, an anomaly among developing nations. In the digital age, and as a digital banking and finance hub it is imperative for Singapore to develop a strong cybersecurity infrastructure and equip itself with well-trained manpower to safeguard the nation’s resources and support economic growth. Ensign is ramping up its workforce to groom the latest generation of cybersecurity talent, other organisations must follow suit.
About the author
Serene Yeo leads Human Resources at Ensign InfoSecurity, where she has built a purpose-driven and committed team from the ground up. Her HR team is responsible for partnering with the business to formulate, develop, and implement various aspects of the human resources agenda. Before joining Ensign, Serene served as the Human Resource Director for the Asia Pacific region at Visa. In this role, she worked with senior executives and and line managers, providing insights and guidance on human resources and organizational affairs.
Serene holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the National University of Singapore.