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Building an inclusive and secure digital future

Singapore’s investments in Smart Nation initiatives have enabled the city state to overcome many challenges, including the recent pandemic. Three Smart Nation scholars share insights into the work they do at CSA, GovTech and IMDA to help improve people’s lives, facilitate business innovation and build a world-class tech infrastructure for the digital age


At a time when concerns about online scams and phishing are rising, the importance of cyber security cannot be overstated. 

System engineer Chester Sng, a professional at Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore (CSA), develops tools and security fixes to secure our nation’s infrastructure against hackers.

The 25-year-old is part of the Cybersecurity Development Programme (CSDP) under CSA, the national agency overseeing cyber security strategy, operations, education, outreach and ecosystem development.

He graduated from the National University of Singapore in July last year (2021) with a degree in Computer Science.

His daily tasks as part of CSDP include monitoring the threat landscape to identify risks and potential attacks on the country’s digital infrastructure backbone.

In the event of a cyber attack, his department will be involved in forensics investigations to determine the causes of a breach and to propose remediation measures.

Through cyber forensics investigations, cyber security professionals would uncover the attacker’s digital footprint whose modus operandi – and other unique features in which the attack is conducted – would help the authorities track down the perpetrator.

Mr Sng’s studies have enabled him to deep dive into how computers work, how networks are set up and how applications are created.

“Understanding how these things work has allowed me to understand what we are supposed to protect,” he notes.

During his internship at CSA, he was given the chance to learn how machine learning is used to identify maliciously generated domains. These domains might be used for malware which allow the attacker to establish command and take control.

He also had the opportunity to take on courses such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

“The courses helped me to think from the perspectives of both attacker and defender during incidents,” says Mr Sng.

“The scholarship has provided me opportunities to attend certification courses outside my university coursework, and also attain practical work experience through relevant internships.”

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