For some, the concept of cybersecurity may seem like a niche topic and technical to understand. The same could be said for Kong Tin Jun, a Manager with CSA’s Communications and Engagement Office, when he was still an undergraduate and deciding on his career path. That changed when he discovered the importance of cybersecurity in enabling our digital way of life. He decided that he could play his part too, and make cybersecurity relatable to the community.
1. What sparked your interest in cybersecurity?
As a communications major, cybersecurity had never crossed my mind until I chanced upon CSA’s booth at my university’s career fair. While listening to the CSA ambassador share his experience at CSA, it dawned on me that cybersecurity is embedded in every facet of our lives. Digitalisation has changed the way we live, work and play. This is especially so, during the pandemic when cybersecurity is a key enabler for us to use technology with confidence and thrive in an increasingly digital future. I was also intrigued by the layers of processes and measures put in place to keep Singapore’s cyberspace safe and secure, as well as how the man-in-the-street could be vulnerable to cyber threats if we did not practise good cyber hygiene habits. These spurred me to join CSA as I wanted to play my part in raising cybersecurity awareness so everyone can stay safe while enjoying the benefits of digitalisation.
2. What is a typical day at work like for you?
I am part of the outreach team which drives various public initiatives to raise cybersecurity awareness and encourage the adoption of good cyber hygiene practices. My role focuses on working closely with schools, educators and partners to educate students on the importance of cybersecurity and staying safe online, such as using strong passwords and updating software promptly. My work includes the planning and development of curriculum and resources for schools to engage students effectively. An example would be working with Infocomm Media Development Authority and Ministry of Education to include a one-hour cybersecurity module within the Code for Fun Programme for upper primary students. We are also developing a “Go Safe Online Pop-Up”, which is essentially a vending machine with motion-sensor controlled games to educate users on basic cyber tips. Through this, participants will be able to learn the importance of practising good cyber hygiene in a fun and interactive manner.
3. What makes you excited about coming to work?
I enjoy the challenge of translating technical cybersecurity knowledge and jargon into something more relatable for the man-in-the-street - especially seniors and students. My role also gives me the opportunity to interact with members of the public and directly impact people’s lives by helping them to be more cyber savvy so that they can keep themselves safe from threats lurking online.
I recall sharing with a senior about phishing scams and how they work. She was grateful and relieved that she can now confidently spot signs of phishing and not fall victim easily. It is also rewarding to see students learning from the programmes and resources we have prepared for them, such as the Cybersecurity Drama Skit and Cyber Safety Activity Books and Handbook. It is experiences like these that give me a strong sense of purpose and make me look forward to coming to work.
4. Tell us something interesting about your job that not many people know about.
While my expertise is in communications and engagement, my comms colleagues and I, too, must keep abreast of the latest cybersecurity trends and be familiar with the technicalities of cybersecurity in order to perform our role well. This means that we have to constantly keep ourselves up-to-date on new technological developments and cybersecurity measures by attending cybersecurity courses, consulting our technical colleagues or doing our own research.
5. What are 3 qualities that are important for someone in your role to have?
The person must enjoy interacting with people, be adaptable and able to think out of the box. Engaging the public involves two-way communication. We have to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes in order to find the best way to deliver our messages, stay relevant and relatable.