SecurityBrief Asia - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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UK banks join Singapore's cyber scam defence programme launch
Fri, 29th Mar 2024

Three entities, SIM Academy, Singtel Cyber Security Institute (CSI), and UOB, have jointly developed and launched a programme to prepare for cyber scams, aptly named 'Defence Against Cyber Scams'. UOB is the inaugural customer of the programme, with over 1,000 of its frontline branch staff having been enrolled as part of the company's efforts to enhance its identification and handling of cyber scams.

The launch event was attended by distinguished guests, such as Sun Xueling, Minister of State and Minister for Social and Family Development of Singapore. The programme aims to strengthen participants' cyber resilience against ever-evolving threats, through more than 16 hours of interactive workshops, tabletop exercises, and assessments. These focus on scam prevention, identification, and combat strategies. The programme has even garnered potential support from SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), with eligible individuals and enterprises able to apply for up to 90% of course fee subsidies. This is due to Singtel CSI's appointment as one of SSG's Queen Bee in championing skills development and providing skills advisory support and customised training solutions for business transformation.

The CEO of Singtel Singapore, Ng Tian Chong, emphasised the importance of being equipped to handle complex scams. He said, "All enterprises need to be equipped to deal with increasingly complex scams that deploy artificial intelligence, phishing, social engineering and other modes of deception to trick consumers into giving away their critical personal data. We're glad our partner, SIM Academy, shares our mission to arm consumers and enterprises with the necessary tools and skills to protect their vital assets and reputation."

UOB has worked closely with experts from Singtel and SIM to develop a customised curriculum for its staff. This includes SIM's sense-making approach: raising awareness of the mindsets of perpetrators and understanding defensive strategies. It helps participants make more informed decisions and be better prepared to shield their customers and institutions from fraudulent activities. Furthermore, the programme incorporates UOB's uniquely developed 'Sense, Probe, Observe and Take Action' (SPOT) framework to identify and counter scams, which all UOB branch staff are now trained in.

Seah Chin Siong, President and CEO of Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), highlighting cybersecurity as a shared responsibility, said, "SIM Academy contributes to the national agenda of building stronger defence protocols against scams. With Singtel being recognised as a leader in cybersecurity, customers looking for training solutions in this area can be assured of a robust and comprehensive approach, empowering enterprises to navigate digital threats with confidence and resilience."

At the launch event, Dan Yock Hau, Assistant Chief Executive (National Cyber Resilience) of Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, commented, "With scam numbers continuing to rise, we are glad to see organisations like Singtel, SIM, and UOB put in place programmes to complement the government's efforts to fight scams."

UOB's commitment to customer security is highlighted by the enthusiastic adoption of the programme. Janet Young, Managing Director and Group Head of UOB said, "Our latest collaboration with Singtel and SIM Academy underpins our commitment to protect our customers from scams. This new cyber scam preparedness programme will complement existing trainings to fully equip our employees to better spot and handle the latest scam tactics, strengthening our line of defence to support customers."