Exercise Cyber Star tests Singapore response

How SANS is helping boost the island’s defenses against whole-of-nation cyber attacks

Sponsored The cyber attack which culminated in the personal details of 1.5m patients being compromised after hackers broke into the databases of SingHealth in 2018 provides a stark illustration of why organizations in Singapore need to remain vigilant and well protected against further incidents.

Fostering the knowledge and expertise to do precisely that is the intention behind the Exercise Cyber Star program. Delivered by a partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the SANS Institute, the week long annual event is designed to improve the island's crisis response capabilities and shape its readiness to ward off any future whole of nation cyber attack.

The fifth edition (XCS 2023) kicked off on September 25. It brought together over 450 participants from 11 critical information infrastructure (CII) sectors - aviation, banking and finance, energy, government, healthcare, info-communications, land transport, maritime, media, security and emergency, and water – for a series of technical workshops and command post exercises.

Ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), Industrial Control Systems (ICS) compromise and insider threats were just a few of the threats under discussion, followed by hands on sessions that reinforced classroom learning with rehearsals of operating procedures designed to foil those type of attacks. The event was rounded off by GRID NetWars, an interactive, hands on simulation of the sort of real world cyber attack which could be launched against any of those ICS systems in Singapore.

Helping to prep the next generation of cyber security professionals was SANS APAC Technical Director, Delaney Ng. Delaney hosted a group of 20 young people from Singapore in collaboration with Cyber Youth Singapore (CYS), shared stories about his career and offering advice on the best way to win at GRID NetWars to fire their enthusiasm.

You can find out more about how SANS Institute's training, table top exercises, cyber ranges and security awareness in the Asia Pacific region by contacting the company at this address - asiapacific@sans.org.

Sponsored by SANS.

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