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Singtel, SIM and UOB collaborate on ‘Defence Against Cyber Scams’ programme

Singtel Cyber Security Institute (CSI), SIM Academy (SIM) and UOB announced the co-development of a cyber scam preparedness programme called “Defence Against Cyber Scams” aimed at upskilling and reskilling UOB’s over 1,000 frontline branch staff.

This is an initiative by Singtel CSI and SIM to upskill and reskill employees of large enterprises – starting with the financial sector. The programme comprises over 16 hours of interactive workshops, tabletop exercises and assessments, providing guidance on how to prevent, identify and combat scams1 to strengthen their overall cyber resilience against evolving threats.

Led by trainers from Singtel and SIM, the programme can be customised according to specific enterprise needs. (More details on the programme can be found in the Annex A) Eligible participants would receive up subsidies of up to 90% of the course fees from SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) because Singtel CSI is one of the industry leaders appointed as SSG’s Queen Bee to provide skills development, advisory support and curated training for business transformation. (See Annex B for Singtel CSI’s training programmes).

“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.” Ng Tian Chong, CEO of Singtel Singapore

Mr Ng Tian Chong, CEO of Singtel Singapore, 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. This is especially imperative for banks whose customers are often targeted. 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, which are crucial to thriving in a digital economy and advancing as a society.”

For the inaugural run of the programme, UOB worked closely with experts from Singtel and SIM to develop a customised curriculum for its staff. The programme incorporated SIM’s sense-making approach that includes raising awareness of perpetrator mindsets and understanding of defensive strategies to help participants make more informed decisions and be better prepared to shield both their customers and institutions from fraudulent activities as well as UOB’s specially-crafted Sense, Probe, Observe and Take Action (SPOT) framework that all its branch staff are trained in to identify and counter scams.

Mr Seah Chin Siong, President and CEO of Singapore Institute of Management, said, “Cyber security is a shared responsibility. As the training partner selected to deliver this programme, SIM Academy contributes to the national agenda of building stronger defence protocols against scams. With Singtel being recognised as a leader in cyber security, 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. We look forward to commencing the training for UOB’s teams and engaging with other large enterprises to customise a similar programme for them.”

Also present at the launch was Mr Dan Yock Hau, Assistant Chief Executive (National Cyber Resilience), Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. He said, “Cybersecurity is a team effort. 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.”

Delivering a customised programme for UOB
Ms Janet Young, Managing Director and Group Head, Channels & Digitalisation and Strategic Communications & Brand, UOB, said, “Safeguarding our customers’ assets is our foremost priority, and our branch employees serve on the frontline every day protecting customers against an invisible enemy whose tactics are constantly evolving. 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.”

Singtel, SIM and UOB co-developed the workshops to include common scam typologies and scenarios encountered by UOB’s frontline staff. To bring the conditions to life, participants underwent simulations of different tactics employed by scammers such as deep fakes and phishing to harvest customers’ credentials. These were designed to give staff a better understanding of scammers’ mindsets and modus operandi to better convince customers to accept assistance or empathise with customers’ situations.

Participants also got to engage in robust discussions with experts on anti-scam strategies to better align with measures set out by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as learn key elements of strategic decision-making in formulating their response when dealing with scammers.

As a leading bank in Asia, UOB proactively manages scam and fraud risks across all its touchpoints including branches, internet banking and mobile banking channels. Its frontline staff regularly receive structured training on fraud awareness to strengthen their capabilities in detecting and resolving scam and fraud cases.

CT Bureau

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