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Empowering companies in their cyber security defence 

Singapore, 14 January 2014
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, KPMG in Singapore and Singapore Polytechnic collaborate to help companies here strengthen cyber defence

Companies in Singapore can now look forward to a new cyber security centre to train their professionals and upgrade their cyber defence capabilities.

Set up by KPMG in Singapore with the support of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP), the key focus of the KPMG Cyber Security Centre (CSC) launched today lies in empowering companies with the means to take charge of their own cyber defence.

Said Mr Lyon Poh, Partner and Head of IT Assurance and Security, KPMG in Singapore: "Changing work patterns such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Big Data and Cloud technologies all mean that threats to cyber security are on the rise.

"At the same time, more statutory and regulatory requirements have been put in place to make sure that companies are managing their customer and personal information appropriately," he added, "Companies here have a lot on their plate to deal with when it comes to cyber security."

He noted that many existing cyber security programmes focus on implementing preventive measures. However, these do not adequately address the targeted and determined nature of attackers today. It is also difficult for companies to keep up with rapidly evolving technologies and capabilities of attackers.

"The CSC will focus on equipping cyber security professionals in organisations with the right skills to enhance their situational awareness so that they can detect threats early and respond in a robust manner. We will also work closely with participating companies to develop security proof-of-concepts relevant to their business situation.

"We believe that empowering companies in their own cybersecurity defence as far as possible is more sustainable than totally relying on external vendors for security,” said Mr Poh.

Empowering cyber security

The first initiative by the CSC takes the form of a six-month capability development programme offered to qualifying companies for their cyber security professionals.

Focused on helping companies building and enhancing their capabilities for cyber security preparedness, the programme addresses three key areas:

  1. Training participants in implementing enterprise frameworks and architectures for detecting cyber threats and preparing a robust incident response
  2. Helping participants in acquiring expertise in discovering, analysing, containing and eradicating malware threats
  3. Developing enterprise security intelligence capabilities for situation awareness and defence against cyber attacks.

"Cyber security can no longer be viewed as a form of compliance or utility cost, but deemed as a strategic component of business operations and competitiveness. There is an increased demand for cyber security experts to help businesses anticipate and respond to threats effectively. IDA is working with our partner ministries and agencies to build a strong pool of such experts, tapping on institutions of higher learning and in collaboration with industry. With a concentration and co-location of such experts, we expect close exchanges and collaboration, leading to Singapore extending our role as a cyber security competence hub,” said Mr Khoong Hock Yun, Assistant Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Services Development Group, IDA.

"We are pleased to support the KPMG CSC as another important building block towards attaining the goals of our National Cyber Security Masterplan, which includes developing local experts and improving the cybersecurity of companies. This will strengthen the cyber defense of companies and enable professionals to develop security solutions relevant to corporations’ business settings."

Going beyond the classroom – Cyber Wargaming

The learning process that KPMG envisions will not only involve formal lessons, but also provide participants an opportunity to test their skills through cyber war gaming exercises. These will take place at the Singapore Polytechnic's (SP) Cyber Wargame Centre, with whom KPMG has recently concluded another agreement for this training.

Commenting on this unique partnership with KPMG, Mr Liew Chin Chuan, Course Manager for the Diploma in Infocomm Security Management at SP said, "Going beyond theory into real life application is important to becoming a better cyber security professional. The Cyber Wargame Centre at SP is equipped with a Cyber Range that is able to simulate large-scale cyber-attacks and the latest threats in as realistic a manner as possible."

He added, "We are pleased to be supporting KPMG in their programme, and in this opportunity to provide practicing cyber security professionals realistic scenarios with which to enhance their learning."

Beyond the games to the development of intellectual property

Post-training, learning can continue as participant companies have the option of working with KPMG in the development and implementation of cyber defence proof-of concept in their own companies.

Through the capability development programme, participants from the user enterprises will embark on cyber security projects together with KPMG cyber security specialists and solution vendors to:

  • Develop proof-of-concept (POC) frameworks and solution architecture addressing specific problem areas
  • Customise and implement the POC in their own specific user enterprise environment; and
  • Identify successful and commercially viable POC for further development.

Recruitment for the first batch of participants in the six-month programme begins this month. Interested companies can write to cybersecurity@kpmg.com.sg for more information.