SIT partners MINDEF to offer Cyber NSF Scheme

MINDEF to Tap NSF Talent Pool to Bolster Singapore’s Cyber Defences

(From left to right): BG Mark Tan, Director (Cyber Plans & Policy Directorate), MINDEF; Mr David Koh, Deputy Secretary (Special Projects) and Defence Cyber Chief, MINDEF; Minister Ong Ye Kung; Prof Loh Han Tong, Deputy President (Academic) and Provost, SIT; and Prof Tan Thiam Soon, President, SIT at the MOU signing.

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung officiated at the signing of a work-learn Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)’s Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) on 12 February 2018. The MOU was signed by Defence Cyber Chief Mr David Koh and Professor Loh Han Tong, Deputy President (Academic) and Provost, SIT.

Mr Ong also announced the Cyber NSF Scheme, which all full-time national servicemen (NSFs) in cyber vocations will now come under, and the Cyber Specialist Award, a short-term contract which will be offered to selected cyber NSFs who demonstrate the requisite aptitude and skill, and who meet the stringent selection requirements for the award.

The MOU between DCO and SIT is the first work-learn tie-up between MINDEF and an education institute where NSFs are sent for academic upgrading while employed in an operational role. This will equip them with the necessary skills to better perform their duties, and was made possible through close collaboration between MINDEF, the Cyber Security Agency (CSA)[1], SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and SIT. This work-learn programme will be applicable to NSFs who are recipients of the Cyber Specialist Award. Award recipients will also attend professional courses and attain professional certifications.

Mr Ong said that the new Cyber NSF Scheme and Cyber Specialist Award aim to tap on those in the NSF talent pool who wish to contribute more to national defence in cyber. He said, “MINDEF/SAF has developed a new Cyber NSF scheme that will be able to tap on cyber talents from our NSF pool to bolster the SAF’s cyber defences… We will look at both academic qualifications as well as relevant cyber skills in our selection process. This scheme allows us to tap unto our talented NSFs to meet the operational requirements of our cyber defences, and also allows us to optimise their contribution by giving them the opportunity to apply their cybersecurity skills in the defence of the nation.” He also expressed his hope that the time spent as cyber specialists would help them make the decision to continue honing their cybersecurity skills and contribute to Singapore’s cyber defence as professionals in the national cyber eco-system.

A pilot batch of participants will enlist for full-time NS in the second half of 2018. For future intakes, interested pre-enlistees may apply online at www.mindef.gov.sg/CyberNSF.

[1] CSA has been facilitating multi-agency collaboration among MINDEF, government agencies, schools and Institutes of Higher Learning to build an integrated talent pipeline for the Cyber NSF vocation.