Singapore needs to groom more cybersecurity experts and data analysts, said Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.
Recent defacement of and attacks on government web sites have highlighted the urgency to fill the gap in IT security specialists.
In order to reduce the shortage, Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) will be increasing the number of scholarships for related degrees and diplomas.
IDA will also work with higher learning institutions to add cybersecurity modules and specialist tracks.
According to Ibrahim, this niche sector has been losing talents to the more ‘sexy’ or glamorous industries such as banking, finance, sales and marketing.
Many fresh graduates do not want to go into information security because these are back end roles.
According to local media, the gap has been widening due to growing demand and shrinking trained pool of specialists.
Singapore currently has 1,200 cyber security professionals, down from 1,500 last year. This makes up only 0.8 per cent of the total infocomm workforce.
On the other hand, information security market is expected to double by 2017.
Yacoob added that Singapore is also short of data analysts.
As more data is generated and collected in recent years, there are great opportunities to understand and gather real-time insights from huge volumes of data to make more informed decisions.
Big data is forecasted to contribute an additional S$1 billion (US$0.8 billion) to the economy by 2017.
Singapore government wants to train 2,500 data analysts in the next five years.