Singapore's first CyberWatch Competency Centre unveiled

Center jointly opened by e-Cop and Singapore Polytechnic will see students and educators working with security vendor on real-life cybersecurity projects, better preparing them for dynamic world of IT security.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Singapore Polytechnic and security vendor, e-Cop, has collaborated to establish a Cyberwatch Competency Centre which leverages e-Cop solutions built on Microsoft platforms.

Announced today at the second annual Cyber Security Asia conference, e-Cop said the center will provide students and educators from the polytechnic with the opportunity to work with the security vendor on real-world cybersecurity projects, giving them market-relevant experience to groom the next generation of IT security thought leaders.

Under the collaboration, the tertiary institution will set up a center set to be open in April 2012. Running e-Cop's products on Microsoft platforms, the facility will be part of a new "learning space concept" for students pursuing a Diploma in Infomm Security Management, Tan Hang Cheong, principal of Singapore Polytechnic (SP), said in a statement.

"Just as soldiers are trained in firing ranges before going onto the battlefield, this new learning space will provide SP's students with an authentic learning environment to train them in dealing with real-world security scenarios," Tan added.

Walter Lee, CEO of e-Cop Group, added that cybersecurity is of paramount importance to governments and corporations. This partnership, supported by Microsoft, will further build the cybersecurity capability and capacity in Singapore, increasing resilience into the future, he said.

Cybercrime is also no longer just an activity engaged in by small groups of individuals, said Michael Wilks, Microsoft's regional director of public safety and national security. It has, in fact, become the province of large, well-organized criminal enterprises seeking to perpetrate "high-value fraud and theft" globally, he noted.

Governments such as Britain and India have called for a "coordinated global response" to tackle the increase in cybersecurity threats and partnerships between the private sector and educational institution, such as today's announcement, he added. This will not only benefit teachers and students but will also, eventually, benefit the nation's entire cybersecurity ecosystem, he noted.

"By providing students with the latest security tools and expertise, we are confident that this is a sustainable program that will continuously groom Singapore's cybersecurity thought leaders," Wilks said.

Local schools have been collaborating with various organizations as part of efforts to groom a workforce that meets the demands of the IT security industry. At Governmentware 2011 conference in September, for instance, the Singapore Infocomm Security Authority (SISTA) signed educational agreements with the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Temasek Polytechnic, to set up cybersecurity labs to provide a real-time learning environment for students from the three tertiary institutes to learn and ease transitions into the working world. 

The School of Informatics also rolled out a new Diploma in Digital Forensics, with the first batch entering in April this year, to cater to rising demand for IT security professionals with the skills to investigate crimes committed using computers and digital devices.

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