Silver medal for cyber chief on his 51st birthday today

Mr Chng Ho Kiat said his military background is a boon: "Cyber security is like playing a war game with an unknown adversary."
Mr Chng Ho Kiat said his military background is a boon: "Cyber security is like playing a war game with an unknown adversary."PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

Mr Chng Ho Kiat
Director (Cyber Security and Resilience) Cyber Security and Resilience Division
Ministry of Communications and Information
Public Administration Medal (Silver)

For his 51st birthday today, Singapore's cyber-security chief, Mr Chng Ho Kiat, is receiving a special present - the Public Administration Medal (Silver).

As the director of cyber security and resilience at the Ministry of Communications and Information, he ensures Singapore's readiness to face cyberthreats, such as through setting up the Cyber Security Agency in 2015.

"It's really a team effort - I couldn't have done it alone," said Mr Chng on his award. "My team is not very big - about 20 people - but they are the ones who have put in the work as well."

He has served in the civil service for the past 12 years, after spending 21 years in the Singapore Navy.

The Singapore Armed Forces Overseas scholarship holder eventually became commanding officer of the navy's elite Naval Diving Unit, before retiring from the military with the rank of colonel to join the civil service, starting with the Ministry of National Development in 2005.

He also held positions in the National Heritage Board and the National Art Gallery.

Today, Mr Chng fights a different type of battle by protecting Singapore's cyber infrastructure. He said his military background is a boon.

"Cyber security is like playing a war game with an unknown adversary," he said.

"Therefore, there are certain instincts, and practices, that we have in the military that are very relevant - the way we do planning in traditional military warfare is quite similar to what we need to do for cyber security."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2017, with the headline 'Silver medal for cyber chief on his 51st birthday today'. Print Edition | Subscribe