Framework for OT Cybersecurity Competency Launched by Singapore

By Bob Gill

With the aim of providing a foundation to attract and develop talent for the emerging operational technology cybersecurity sector in Singapore, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), the government body charged with OT Cybersecurity Competencykeeping the country’s cyberspace safe and secure, has launched the Operational Technology Cybersecurity Competency Framework (OTCCF).

The OTCCF maps out the various OT cybersecurity job roles and the corresponding technical skills and core competencies required. It also captures the possible career pathways showing the options for vertical and lateral progression.

For key stakeholders in OT cybersecurity, the aims to guide them in the following ways:

  1. OT and IT system owners − can refer to the OT cybersecurity capabilities required to attract the right people, train them adequately, and map out their career pathways
  2. Training providers − can refer to the technical competencies required by different job roles and be guided to develop best-in-class courses and certifications that cater to local training needs
  3. OT professionals or potential jobseekers can identify skillsets for cross- and upskilling for a meaningful career in the OT cybersecurity domain. The career pathways could apply to job roles inclusive of vertical and lateral advancement opportunities.

Focus on OT Cybersecurity Capabilities

The development of the Operational Technology Cybersecurity Competency Framework takes place against a backdrop of increasing connectivity between IT and OT systems, and a corresponding increase in demand for job roles requiring competencies in both IT and OT domains. Prior to OTCCF, OT system owners took reference from the Skills Framework for ICT to identify skills gaps and develop training plans.

However, since this caters primarily for the ICT workforce, more granular breakdown of the OT cybersecurity capabilities and technical competencies was clearly needed in order to cater to the training needs of OT engineers.

OT cybersecurity talent development is one of the key thrusts under Singapore’s OT Cybersecurity Masterplan, which was first announced in 2019. Since 2017, the CSA Academy has been providing customized training courses in cybersecurity areas – including OT - that are not readily available in the market. With the launch of OTCCF, The CSA Academy will be rolling out a series of roadshows to engage organizations on how they can adopt the OTCCF based on their business needs.

The Operational Technology Cybersecurity Competency Framework (112 pages) is available for free download at the CSA website.


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