Fostering Cybersecurity Talent

Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Group-IB’s partnership in cybersecurity education equips students with the latest technologies and real-world skills, bridging the gap between academia and industry.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and Group-IB, a prominent cybersecurity technology creator specializing in investigating, preventing, and combating digital crime, have extended their Memorandum of Understanding to foster a new generation of cybersecurity professionals through innovative initiatives. This collaboration aims to equip students with the most recent cybersecurity technologies, practical skills, and the opportunity to apply them in real-world scenarios by collaborating with NP’s startup partners.

The demand for cybersecurity experts is on the rise, with over 3.5 million cybersecurity positions worldwide left unfilled in 2023, as reported by the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures. LinkedIn’s “Jobs on the Rise 2023” report for Singapore further highlighted the rapid growth of cybersecurity engineers and specialists in the local job market.

To prepare students to combat real-world cyber threats, NP’s School of InfoComm Technology (ICT) will establish the first-of-its-kind NP-Group-IB Threat Intelligence and Defense Centre (TIDC) in Singapore, powered by Group-IB’s cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. Over the next three years, more than 200 students in NP’s Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics (CSF) program will receive training in critical areas such as intelligence collection and analysis, incident response, threat hunting, vulnerability assessment, and security monitoring.

NP is the exclusive higher learning institution in Singapore to receive a royalty-free academic license valued at $360,000 from Group-IB. This license grants students access to Group-IB’s industry-leading suite of technologies, including Threat Intelligence, Business Email Protection, Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR), and Attack Surface Management solutions, designed to prevent and investigate digital crimes. Group-IB will also collaborate in delivering hands-on training to ensure students become proficient in utilizing these software tools.

The NP-Group-IB TIDC, hosted at NP, will provide valuable insights into the proactive identification and management of real cyber threats, thanks to Group-IB’s Threat Intelligence data. Under this partnership, the TIDC will assist approximately 50 startup partners at AGILE and Pollinate, NP’s on-campus and off-campus incubators, in bolstering their defenses against cyber threats. Final-year CSF students will manage the facility, acting as Security Analysts for the startups under the guidance of Group-IB’s cyber intelligence experts and NP lecturers.

The TIDC initiative aims to address common cybersecurity challenges faced by startups, such as the shortage of in-house cybersecurity staff. Additionally, it bridges the gap between theoretical concepts and practical applications, enhancing the learning experience and preparing NP students more effectively for cybersecurity careers.

Students will engage in in-depth research to identify past, present, and future cyber threats affecting startups, providing actionable intelligence and threat mitigation strategies. They will delve into the Dark web to uncover compromised credentials, payment records, breached databases related to startups, and the phishing infrastructure targeting them and their customers.

One of NP’s startup partners, Eezee, an online marketplace for business supplies, has already benefited from the TIDC. Jasper Yap, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Eezee, acknowledged the importance of cybersecurity measures, especially for small and medium enterprises, thanks to the comprehensive threat intelligence report and recommendations provided by NP students.

Isaac Koh, a final-year CSF student who worked on the threat intelligence report for Eezee, shared that the experience at the TIDC allowed him to gain valuable real-world experience and hone his skills in threat detection.

In addition to establishing new learning facilities, Group-IB will create a knowledge-exchange framework to enhance professional development for NP staff through attachment programs. Lecturers will work alongside Group-IB’s cyber analysts to gain first-hand exposure to the dynamic work environment and hands-on experience with Group-IB’s proprietary technologies. The knowledge and experience acquired will be integrated into the curriculum, ensuring that the CSF course remains aligned with industry-best practices.

Mr. Patrice Choong, Senior Director, Technology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, expressed the institution’s commitment to cybersecurity training and how this collaboration will benefit students and the cybersecurity sector. Mr. Dmitry Volkov, CEO and founder of Group-IB, highlighted the aim to empower young talents with the latest innovations and practical skills to combat cybercrime in Singapore and beyond.

The partnership between Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Group-IB represents a significant step in addressing the growing demand for cybersecurity expertise on a global scale. By equipping students with cutting-edge technologies, practical skills, and real-world experience, this collaboration not only empowers the next generation of cyber defenders but also strengthens the bridge between academia and industry. As the world faces increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, the knowledge and skills cultivated through this initiative will play a vital role in safeguarding digital assets and bolstering the cybersecurity ecosystem, ensuring a safer and more secure digital future.