#WorkinginCSA: Staying One Step Ahead of Cyber Threats

19 Feb 2021

To deal with cyber threats effectively, early detection and mitigation is crucial. Find out how Systems Engineer Lim Sui Xin of CSA’s National Cyber Threat Monitoring Centre plays her part in keeping our cyberspace safe and secure through cyber threat landscape monitoring and analysis.

1. What sparked your interest in cybersecurity? 
Since young, I have always been interested in problem solving;  so when I was first exposed to the field of cybersecurity as an Information Systems undergraduate, it felt like a perfect fit. Cybersecurity is ever-changing and being a part of this industry means that I would always have opportunities to learn new things. My interest in this field continues to grow as my understanding of cybersecurity deepens over the course of my work. For instance, I am fascinated by how cybersecurity intertwines with other distinctly different fields such as geopolitics. 

2. What is a typical day at work like for you?
I am part of a team that performs triaging and analyses information from various sources to forewarn stakeholders of emerging cyber threats. Upon assessment that these threats might have a potential impact on Singapore, we work with other CSA divisions, as well as other public agencies to gain deeper insights into these threats and produce actionable information to apprise Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors. With the latest updates on the cyber threat landscape, CII sectors are able to use the information to take action and make critical decisions.

3. What makes you excited about coming to work?
One will never know with absolute certainty when the next cyber incident will take place. I am encouraged that my work contributes towards the goal of achieving a proactive cyber defence for Singapore, which can potentially reduce the impact of a cyber-attack.

Also, given the dynamic nature of cybersecurity, there is always the element of unknown threats. Through the process of uncovering more information on these threats, I am able to learn about the latest developments in the cyber landscape such as new attack vectors and techniques. This keeps me on my toes and helps me become a more well-informed cybersecurity professional. 

4. Tell us something interesting about your job that not many people know about.
Working in CSA allows me to not only have a better understanding of the cyber threat landscape in Singapore, but also how the latest developments in the global cyber landscape might have an impact locally. For instance, the discovery of a new vulnerability in a device or development of proof-of-concept to exploit them could also pose potential threat to entities in Singapore as they may use these devices as well.

Besides analysis work, I also interact with colleagues specialising in other cybersecurity disciplines such as operations planning and risk management. Through these interactions, I learnt the importance of looking at an issue in a more holistic manner as people with different specialisations contribute new  perspectives to inform the issue. 

I was also part of the secretariat team for Singapore Cyber International Week (SICW) in 2019, where I was involved in coordinating the planning and execution of the event. SICW is the region’s most established cybersecurity event and through this experience, I was able to learn more about developments in cybersecurity both internationally and regionally. 

5. What are 3 qualities that are important for someone in your role to have?
The person must be receptive to acquiring new knowledge given the dynamic nature of cybersecurity, be well-informed on the latest developments of the cyber threat landscape, and be resilient in the face of new challenges.