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Director Military Intelligence and Chief Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Brigadier-General (BG) Ng Chad-Son (third from left) opening the Cyber Defence School this morning, accompanied by Commander C4 Command BG Percival Goh (fourth from right) and Director Cybe (Source: MINDEF).

MINDEF boosts cyber defence with Cyber Expert Schemes and New Training School

Two new cyber expert schemes were launched on Wednesday (20 February), the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced in a press release.

The ministry also opened the new Cyber Defence School (CDS), which took place on the sidelines of an Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) visit to Stagmont Camp, which was hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How.

During the visit, ACCORD members were briefed on MINDEF and the Singapore Armed Force (SAF)’s cyber defence set-up. This visit follows the launch of Digital Defence as the sixth pillar of Total Defence on 15 February 2019.

The ministry stressed that people and technology make up the core of MINDEF/SAF’s cyber defence capability.

MINDEF/SAF said that they created the uniformed Command, Control, Communications and Computers Expert (C4X) vocation for military personnel, and Defence Cyber Expert (DCX) job specialisation for non-uniformed personnel to develop a highly skilled cyber workforce.

According to the ministry, the C4X and DCX personnel will work together with cyber NSFs (Full-time National Servicemen) to defend MINDEF/SAF’s systems. The CDS will serve as the centre for cyber defence training and education across MINDEF/SAF.

Speaking at the visit, Mr Heng highlighted MINDEF/SAF’s commitment in boosting cyber defence capabilities for the long-term. He 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,” he added.

The new cyber expert military vocation, job specialisation for non-uniformed personnel, and the opening of Cyber Defence School are said to be part of MINDEF/SAF’s efforts to strengthen its cyber security eco-system, which is led by the Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO).

Cyber defence operations across the defence sector include SAF military networks and systems, MINDEF corporate IT and internet-facing systems, as well as Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)’s, DSO National Laboratories (DSO)’s, defence industries’, and MINDEF-related organisations’ networks and systems.

Some nezitens were being skeptical towards this move though, saying that this must have something to do with the upcoming election.

Diu Lei wrote, “IB training school! need them to be operation ready before election.”

Michael Goh wrote, “Populated by CECA? White horse?”

Robin Tze Seng Ng wrote, “Train to put on surveillance on own brother, sister and citizen’s computers and hand phones?
Control social media messages sent? Correct?”

Man Idah wrote, “I believed this group will get involved in this coming election.”

Chris Chow wrote, “To post pro PAP comments on all media web pages?”

Nanny Lila wrote, “My guess. Another BG will be assigned as head?”

Frank Chong wrote, “Not sure is net securities or a second branch of IB.”