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Singtel has opened the Singtel Cyber Security Institute (CSI), describing it as a hybrid between an advanced cyber range and an educational institute, and claiming it to be the first of its  kind in the region to test and train companies in dealing with sophisticated cyber threats.

Bill Chang, CEO Group Enterprise at Singtel, said: 'Based on our engagements with companies in Singapore, more than 85 percent do not have robust cyber response plans nor the opportunity to conduct realistic drills to test and sharpen such plans. This lack of cyber preparedness is worsened by the severe global shortfall of trained cyber security experts, which Forbes puts at some one million in 2016. This is why we've stepped up to the plate. We know we have to help companies secure themselves against a potential slew of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.'

Singtel says the institute will provide cyber skills development and education programs tailored to the varying needs of company boards, C-suite management, technology and operational staff. Boards and C-suite level participants will be trained in the areas of cyber threat awareness, risk management, business continuity planning and crisis communications preparation. The cyber operations team will be trained in defense and response capabilities to sharpen their skills.

Singtel also announced that it would be the first company in Singapore to work with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore on the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists (CSAT) program to train infocomm professionals in cyber security. Under this program Singtel will train fresh infocomm technology professionals and equip them with basic cyber security skills. Singtel will also provide experienced cyber security professionals with the opportunity to enhance their skills by training with leading cyber security experts.

Through this two-prong approach, Singtel says it aims to build a cyber security talent pipeline to drive its cyber security initiatives.