It’s no secret that there is a global shortage of cybersecurity experts to deal with the rising volume and variety of cyberattacks on businesses today. The need to address this skills shortage was acknowledged in Singapore’s National Cyber Security Masterplan 2018, and even included as one of three key objectives:

  1. Enhance the security and resilience of critical information communications infrastructures.
  2. Increase efforts to promote the adoption of appropriate security measures among individuals and businesses.
  3. Grow Singapore’s pool of information security experts.

Similarly, the influential industry regulatory body the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year advised financial institutions to “deepen their technology risk management capabilities and be ready to handle IT security incidents and system failures.”

Addressing the Cybersecurity Shortage

One initiative trying to ensure Singapore has a sustainable influx of skilled security experts is the recently launched Temasek Polytechnic-IBM Security Operations Centre (TP-IBM SOC). The SOC joins IBM’s global network as a premier training center and, more importantly, provides students with a live learning environment in which to hone security skills prior to joining the country’s workforce.

Aimed at further enhancing students’ expertise and employability in the cybersecurity market, it is estimated that over the next five years the SOC will train 500 students to fight cybercrime and be proficient in SOC procedures.

Putting the Power in Students’ Hands

As the goal of the SOC is to train the future wave of security professionals, who better to demonstrate the new center’s technologies and operational procedures than its students?

Attended by Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore Minister for Communications and Information and the Minister of Cyber Security, the launch process of the SOC was adeptly navigated by the pupils. This was a testament to the onboarding program, the maturity of processes implemented and the ease of use of the security intelligence platform, the last being demonstrated by a student who had only two weeks’ experience in the TP-IBM SOC.

Students not only have access to IBM products and intelligence, such as IBM Security Advanced Threat Prevention Platform, IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence and research feeds, but also to IBM’s operational processes, procedures and best practices to mitigate and manage security risks. This last point is a huge benefit to developing student expertise.

Securing the Future

Once a business’ SOC becomes operational, the next step for the organization is figuring out how it will ensure the center continues to deliver against service level agreements with the limited skilled resources available to them. This crucial factor is why the TP-IBM SOC is beneficial not just for students, but also security leaders. There is pointed interest to see how the facility manages the turnover in SOC operations team members yet continues to protect the organization’s critical assets from attacks. Thanks largely to this government initiative, Singapore is ensuring qualified professionals are entering their security workforce operationally ready from day one.

Watch the TP-IBM SOC client video for more details on this project.

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