StarHub grows Singapore’s Cyber Security ecosystem with COE

The telco collaborates with industry partners, academia and public-sector organisations to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in cyber security. StarHub and the COE partners will jointly invest S$200 million over the next five years to support a sustainable cyber security ecosystem.

At the launch of the initiative (from left): Thien Kwee Eng, Economic Development Board assistant managing director; Tan Tong Hai, StarHub chief executive officer; S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry); and  Professor Yitzhak Ben-Israel, StarHub's Cyber Security Centre of Excellence. Photo: StarHub.

At the launch of the initiative (from left): Thien Kwee Eng, Economic Development Board assistant managing director; Tan Tong Hai, StarHub chief executive officer; S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry); and Professor Yitzhak Ben-Israel, StarHub’s Cyber Security Centre of Excellence. Photo: StarHub.

StarHub has announced plans to grow the local cyber security ecosystem at the launch of its Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (COE) where S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), was the Guest-of-Honour.

“Cyber security is a top national and commercial security priority for Singapore as our Smart Nation vision takes shape, touching many aspects of our personal and business lives. StarHub is proud to work with top-notch partners to bolster the cyber security sector, which is important for a sustainable digital economy,” said Tan Tong Hai, StarHub Chief Executive Officer.

The COE established by StarHub, is supported by the Economic Development Board (EDB).

It serves as a hub for the cyber security ecosystem, bringing together the best of brains and expertise to tackle cyber threats, which are among other serious risks affecting economies globally today.

Internationally renowned security expert Professor Yitzhak Ben-Israel has been appointed as the Advisor to the COE, and he provides strategic advice and recommendations to the body.

Professor Ben-Israel is a member of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council as well as the International Advisory Panel for Singapore’s S$130 million National Cybersecurity Research and Development Programme which was launched in 2015.

“Cyber security is one of the growth sectors that the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) has been actively exploring.  Our vision is for Singapore to be the cyber security hub for the region, with leadership positions in specific verticals where we have existing strengths, such as the manufacturing and finance sectors.  The government is committed to grow this sector by fostering partnerships, catalysing innovation and developing the talent pool,” said S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry).

He also sits on the board of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology & Research, and heads the Security Studies programme at Tel Aviv University.

Five industry partners, namely Blue Coat, Cyberbit, EY, Fortinet and Wedge Networks as well as four institutes of higher learning (IHL), including Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Republic Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and Singapore University of Technology and Design have joined the COE to-date.

Together with StarHub, the partners will undertake various initiatives to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in cyber security, focusing on talent development, innovation and industry partnerships.

Going forward, StarHub plans to rope in more industry and IHL partners to the COE to drive value and results.
To help cyber security professionals enhance their knowledge and career development, StarHub plans to work with leading centres for professional development in cyber security to design and offer relevant training courses.

“A telco plays a unique role in this ecosystem, building cyber security capabilities on the telco infrastructure which helps accelerate the development of a new generation of cyber security solutions that can better address market needs,” Tan added.

StarHub is also committed to addressing the shortage of cyber security talent in Singapore by training at least 300 specialists on different cyber related capabilities and skill sets over the next five years.

It is teaming up with the four IHLs and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) to enhance cyber security training curriculum and programmes, and to collaborate on research and development.

As a first step, StarHub and NYP have jointly established a lab on NYP campus to provide hands-on training for students of Cyber Security & Forensics.

“StarHub’s investments in cyber security are closely aligned with our vision for Singapore to be the cyber security hub for innovation and mission critical operations. In particular, StarHub’s initiatives to foster collaboration with leading cyber security companies, catalyse innovation and build deep cyber security talent are critical to build a vibrant cyber security industry in Singapore,” said Thien Kwee Eng, Assistant Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board.

These students will subsequently have the opportunity to learn directly from experienced cyber security professionals during their internship placements at StarHub or its industry partners.

The COE’s first commercial initiative is the first-of-its-kind Security Operations Centre at StarHub (named StarHub Security Operations Centre), whereby StarHub’s core infrastructure is integrated with round-the-clock proactive cyber threat detection capabilities.

Cyber-attacks come through wired and wireless networks; being a telco, StarHub’s core networks are thus a strategic location to monitor and detect potential malicious data traffic early and perform mitigation.

In addition, cyber security solutions to protect industrial control systems and cloud-based cyber security solutions currently being developed, will be ready in the second half of the year.

“To ensure the holistic development of Singapore’s cyber security landscape, CSA is working closely with major industry partners to build local capabilities as well as develop advanced cyber security capabilities. StarHub’s Centre is built upon the foundation of strong partnerships with global leading industry players for innovations and with local Institutes of Higher Learning for talent development. We applaud StarHub’s efforts to strengthen cyber security capabilities which will allow us to better secure Singapore’s cyber space,” said David Koh, Chief Executive of CSA.

Last month, Singtel launched its Cyber Security Institute (CSI) in Singapore.

The competing telco’s aim was to hone cyber skills and preparedness of businesses and governments in Asia Pacific by providing holistic training for company boards, management, technology and operations personnel to deal with cyber attacks.

The CSI is a hybrid between an advanced cyber range and an educational institute.

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