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Singapore setting up Defence Cyber Organisation

6th March 2017 - 01:24 GMT | by Chen Chuanren in Singapore


Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) will set up a regiment-sized cyber command known as the Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO) to tackle the rising threats of cyberattacks, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced on 3 March.

The DCO's key roles are to act as lead agency for cybersecurity operations within the defence cluster (including defence industry); develop cyber-defence strategies and policies; orchestrate capability development for cyber-defence; and, when required, lean forward to support the national-level Cyber Security Agency (CSA) in ensuring Singapore's cybersecurity.

The DCO's strength will be around 2,600 soldiers, consisting of four major formations: the Cyber Security Division; Cyber Security Inspectorate; Policies and Plans Directorate; and Cyber Defence Group (CDG) working at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) level.

The CDG is responsible for protecting the SAF's war-fighting networks, and it has two 24/7 operational units known as the Security Monitoring Unit and the Incident Response and Audit Unit.

A training arm known as the Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre already acts as a simulator for cyber-defence training exercises, and it will support testing and evaluation of cyber-defence software.

Regular, conscripted and reservist soldiers will be assigned to the unit and posted to work alongside the CSA.

Concurrently, MINDEF will set up the Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Lab to exploit big data and technology.

Ironically, MINDEF revealed there was a breach of its I-net system, which provides internet access to national servicemen and employees in SAF facilities, earlier in February. It said, 'Investigations revealed that basic personal data, comprising NRIC numbers, telephone numbers and dates of birth of around 850 servicemen and employees, was stolen from I-net.'

During the same announcement, Ng said the SAF will redevelop its 50-year-old SAFTI training area into an 88-hectare SAFTI City, a 200-building urban training area including petrochemical facilities, high-rise buildings and subway stations.

Soldiers will train with interactive targets and battlefield effects, and it will be facilitated by video and data analytics. The project costing $638 million is expected to be completed within ten years.

Chen Chuanren


Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is Shephard’s Singapore correspondent, covering primarily land and sea systems. He served in …

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