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Singapore’s Republic Polytechnic opens new labs to groom cyber security talent

New lab facilities have been established at Singapore’s Republic Polytechnic through partnerships with RSA Security, Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro and Ixia

Singapore’s Republic Polytechnic (RP) has launched five new training labs aimed at addressing the shortage of cyber security expertise in the country.

The labs were established through partnerships with a group of cyber security technology suppliers including RSA Security, Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro and Ixia.

A fifth lab set up by RP’s School Of Information will also house the back-end infrastructure needed to simulate cyber attacks, enabling students to better understand cyber operations, said James Tham, programme chair of RP’s Diploma in infocomm security management.

Through the labs, RP and its technology partners will develop projects and academic modules for RP students, who can expect to land careers in cloud, network and infrastructure security.

With a combined learning space of about 350m2, the new facilities are also open to secondary school students under the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Education and Career Guidance (ECG) programme, where students can gain insights into the cyber security sector.

At the same time, RP signed two memorandums of understanding with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Singapore Chapter.

The polytechnic said the new partnerships will offer more internship opportunities for students, staff and student development projects, as well as academic awards and scholarships for top-performing students over the next three years.

Students and staff will also have the opportunity to participate in study trips and conferences in Singapore and abroad, allowing them to have wider exposure to the industry.

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Edward Lim, senior director at RSA South East Asia and Greater China, said the new labs will address the cyber security manpower shortage in Singapore by collaborating with industry practitioners.

“The lack of skilled professionals in the cyber security space is indeed a growing concern all over the world, and this partnership is an effort in the right direction,” he said.

In Singapore, the demand for cyber security talent has doubled to 4,700 jobs between 2014 and 2015, according to the Info-communications Media Development Authority’s annual manpower survey. This number is expected to grow to 9,700 by 2021.

The Singapore government is also stepping up efforts to train and recruit cyber security experts. In March 2017, it announced a Cybersecurity Professional Scheme that will build up a pool of specialists to shore up the government’s cyber defences.

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