Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Cyber Security, Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, presented Singapore’s inaugural Cybersecurity Awards yesterday night. Six individuals and organisations were recognised for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Singapore’s cybersecurity ecosystem.
The Cybersecurity Awards were launched last year at the Singapore International Cyber Week. The awards are organised by the Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP), and supported by Cybersecurity Agency (CSA) and six other professional and industry associations- Singapore Computer Society (SCS), Singapore Infocommm Technology Federation (SiTF), the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Cloud Security Alliance, Law Society and the IT Service Management Forum.
In the “Professionals” Category, Professor Yu Chien Siang received the Hall of Fame Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership, commitment and contributions to the cybersecurity ecosystem spanning decades. Professor Yu Chien Siang has 37 years of experience in the cybersecurity field and is currently Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Quann Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Quann, Prof Yu worked in the Civil Service for 33 years where he developed Singapore’s first secure email system and PC security system, and pioneered the implementation of public key systems for the Singapore Government.
The Leader Award was awarded to Dr Lim Woo Lip, Vice President of SmartHub and Cyber Security at StarHub, to recognise his strong leadership and his distinguished contributions to the profession and the wider local ecosystem over the past 30 years. Dr. Lim has been instrumental in developing an integrated, national level cyber defence concept.
Dr Lim established the StarHub Cyber Security Centre of Excellence to support Singapore’s cybersecurity ecosystem development and boost the talent pipeline. The Centre of Excellence has brought together world-renowned cybersecurity companies and local institutes of higher learning to jointly develop Singapore’s cybersecurity capabilities and talents.
Mr Emil Tan received the Professional Award to recognise his pro-active role in bringing the local cybersecurity community together, as well as driving efforts to raise cybersecurity awareness and profiling Singapore in the global cybersecurity field. Mr Tan leads Edgis and Null (Singapore Chapter), which are cybersecurity communities of practice. These groups have engaged in responsible disclosure with public agencies and organised events to raise cybersecurity awareness for the general public.
Mr Tan also contributes actively to the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance of Singapore which promotes and enhances adoption and awareness of essential cybersecurity practices for businesses and the public.
The MNC Award was presented to EMC Computer Systems (South Asia), a leading global provider of business-driven security solutions that helps enterprises enhance their security readiness and posture through its RSA Security Services.
The press release states that EMC has contributed significantly above and beyond its core business to strengthen Singapore’s cybersecurity capabilities and spearheads wide-reaching and diverse initiatives which have benefitted the ecosystem and society.
Custodio Technologies Pte Ltd, an SME that develops early warning technology for cyber threats, received the SME Award. Custodio has brought cyber research and development (R&D) best practices and know-how established in Israel to Singapore, while grooming local talent to research and develop innovative home-grown cyber technologies for commercialisation.
The Student Award was awarded to Mr Jeremy Heng, a third-year year Information Security undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Vice President of the NUS Greyhats, a cybersecurity special interest group. Mr Heng was ranked in the top position in the Singapore Cyber Conquest for both 2016 and 2017 and he came in second for the ASEAN Cyber SEA Games 2017.
President of AiSP, Dr Steven Wong, said, “I am delighted to say that this Cybersecurity Awards and Gala Dinner is the fruit which could materialise only because of the strong collaborations within a closely-knit cybersecurity community in Singapore. Moving forward, AiSP will continue to encourage, foster and facilitate more of such public-private-academia partnerships, both locally as well as globally, in order for us to work together with everyone to fulfil our mission to Advance, Connect and Excel (or in short, ACE) the cybersecurity profession and professionals in Singapore.”
Developing talent and keeping professional standards at par with international benchmarks
In his speech at the award ceremony, Minister Ibrahim said that these are early days and Singapore’s cybersecurity sector has the potential to exceed S$1 billion by 2020. He highlighted the Cybersecurity Associates and Technologists (CSAT) programme set up by CSA and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) as an example of the government’s collaborative efforts with the industry to enhance cybersecurity professionals’ skillsets. He added that CSA will work with AiSP on the Student Volunteers Recognition Programme to encourage students from Institutes of Higher Learning to actively volunteer and promote cybersecurity in schools and companies.
“Even as we invest in our talent, we have to ensure that professional standards are current and on par with international benchmarks. Our cybersecurity professionals must be globally competitive in this increasingly interconnected global economy. Raising our standards will put Singapore in a stronger position to capitalise on not just local, but global opportunities in cybersecurity,” Minister Ibrahim said.
CSA is working with AiSP and other professional bodies to ensure that Singapore’s cybersecurity degree programmes are comparable with other international cybersecurity degree programmes. The existing programmes such as CSAT and CSA Academy are evaluated against the Cybersecurity Track of the ICT Skills Framework, which has been developed referencing internationally recognised standards.
AiSP is also developing a Cybersecurity Common Body of Knowledge, in collaboration with, and taking reference from similar efforts around the world. AISP will also work on cross recognition of the Cybersecurity Common Body of Knowledge with other associations in the UK, US and Australia.
CSA and AiSP will also assess how other academic programmes, training courses and professional certifications are aligned to the Cybersecurity Common Body of Knowledge, allowing students and professionals in Singapore to be trained in accordance with global standards, giving them a competitive edge.
In addition, AiSP is collaborating with international professional bodies like the Institute of Information Security Professionals in UK and the Australian Computer Society for mutual recognition of members and skills.