#WorkinginCSA: Building the Vibrant Cybersecurity Ecosystem

14 Aug 2020


What does it take to grow the cybersecurity industry? We hear from Lim Shin Yi, Senior Assistant Director of CSA’s Ecosystem Development Division, to find out more about her work in building a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem, attracting talent and developing the cybersecurity workforce.

Shin Yi was named one of the Top 20 Women in Cybersecurity in Singapore in 2020. She was recognised for developing the SG Cyber Women initiative, which brings community partners together to encourage more women to take an interest in and join the cybersecurity workforce. The Award recognises women in cybersecurity across Singapore whose contributions have advanced the industry and shaped the path for future generations.

1. What sparked your interest in cybersecurity?
At a young age, I have always liked to solve puzzles such as word puzzles and Sudoku. After realising that the nature of cybersecurity jobs involves penetration testing, digital forensics and malware analysis, my interest in cybersecurity grew as I realised that the work in cybersecurity is akin to solving real-life puzzles! In cybersecurity, there is a variety of challenges and you will certainly be thoroughly engaged in your job.

2. What is a typical day at work like for you?
Our team at CSA’s Ecosystem Development Division works at building a vibrant ecosystem through professional development of the cybersecurity workforce and talent attraction. We work with stakeholders including cybersecurity industry leaders, employers, academia, educators, students and other government agencies to implement our talent attraction and development programmes.

There is never a dull moment as our work is varied, ranging from discussions with employers on their hiring requirements for their cybersecurity teams, to developing cybersecurity bootcamps and capture the flag competitions for students under the Youth Cyber Exploration Programme, to organising mentoring programmes, like the Cybersecurity Career Mentoring Programme, and to planning industry events such as the Cybersecurity Innovation Day and the Cybersecurity Awards.

3. Tell us something interesting about your job that not many people know about.

In our line of work, we get to meet like-minded people, locally and internationally, who are passionate about ecosystem development. They are of different ages and from diverse backgrounds, all passionate about contributing to the cybersecurity industry in their own ways.

The international exposure is also a plus point. I had the opportunity to share about Singapore’s cybersecurity workforce development initiatives at an international workshop with government representatives from many countries. Not only did I gain valuable insights from the workshop, I was also encouraged by the positive responses from other participants to Singapore’s efforts.

4. What makes you excited about coming to work?
What motivates me at work is knowing that the work that we do is very meaningful and that we have the support of passionate stakeholders. For example, at the inaugural Women in Cyber event in 2019, which was part of the Singapore International Cyber Week, we received the strong support of international cybersecurity experts who had flown in to Singapore to share their cybersecurity journey with our audience. Some of our student participants were so inspired by the speakers that they took pictures with them and asked for their autographs too! The panellists told us that they felt like rock stars. These are the little moments that motivate me to do more.

5. What are 3 qualities that are important for someone in your role to have?
An inquisitive mind – It is important that we ask our stakeholders the right questions for effective programme implementation.

Collaborative skills – We have diverse backgrounds and skillsets in our teams and so, it is essential that we can all collaborate effectively to tackle our challenges. We also need to foster good relationships with stakeholders to provide holistic solutions to challenges.

Life-long learning – We must keep up with changes in cybersecurity and continue to acquire new knowledge.