Fact Sheet: MINDEF and the SAF's Cyber Defence Training

Fact Sheet: MINDEF and the SAF's Cyber Defence Training


A highly skilled cyber workforce is a key pillar of the cyber defence strategy of the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The role of training MINDEF/SAF's cyber defenders is undertaken by two units – (i) the SAF Cyber Defence School (CDS), established in 2018, which conducts cyber courses and workshops to develop MINDEF/SAF's cyber workforce and to strengthen cyber awareness and cyber hygiene across the organisation; and (ii) the Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC), stood up in 2015, which provides the cyber range facility for the conduct of advanced cyber defence training and exercises. 


Training of Cyber Defenders. The SAF CDS trains cyber vocationalists to equip them with cyber skillsets and knowledge, in preparation for their deployment to various MINDEF/SAF cyber defence entities. It is responsible for the conduct of a range of courses to equip trainees with both foundational and advanced cyber skills. Cyber training curriculum and programmes are regularly reviewed to stay up-to-date to ensure that cyber defenders are well-trained to defend MINDEF/SAF's networks effectively against advanced cyber threats.

The SAF CDS has commenced the Cyber Defence Operator Course and the Cyber Specialist Cadet Course after it received the pioneer cohort of cyber NSFs (Full-time National Servicemen) in 2018. The school is currently developing its curriculum to extend training to the Command, Control, Communications and Computers Expert (C4X) vocation and the Defence Cyber Executive (DCX) job specialisation.

Improving MINDEF and SAF's Cyber Hygiene and Awareness. Beyond vocational training, the SAF Cyber Defence School also conducts cybersecurity workshops for servicemen and employees of MINDEF/SAF to strengthen education on cyber standards, regulations and best practices, and to inculcate strong cyber awareness and cyber hygiene. Lessons on cybersecurity are also already incorporated into milestone training courses for MINDEF/SAF servicemen and employees.

Functions of a Cyber Range. CyTEC provides the cyber range capability for MINDEF/SAF cyber defence units to conduct advanced and team training. The centre regularly reviews its training scenarios to reflect the latest cyber threat developments and possible cyber-attack techniques. It is able to simulate malware and attacks on networks and cybersecurity appliances, in a virtual sandbox environment, which is segregated from actual operational networks. CyTEC is also able to simulate cyber-attacks with varying intensity and sophistication to test cyber defenders' skillsets and responses in realistic scenarios. Such training sharpens the proficiencies of cyber defenders operating in the Cyber Security Operations Centres and in the Computer Incident Response Teams. 

Exercises Conducted by CyTEC. CyTEC supports evaluation exercises for trainees of the Cyber Defence School and conducts refresher training for Operationally Ready National Service (NSmen) cyber defenders. CyTEC also hosts cyber crisis-management exercises involving agencies from across the defence sector. 

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