Singapore names defence cyber chief

Mr Koh also heads the Cyber Security Agency, formed in April 2015 under the Prime Minister's Office.
Mr Koh also heads the Cyber Security Agency, formed in April 2015 under the Prime Minister's Office.

Mindef deputy secretary of technology David Koh will lead the new Defence Cyber Organisation

The Ministry of Defence's (Mindef) deputy secretary of technology David Koh has been named Singapore's defence cyber chief.

Mr Koh, 52, will lead Singapore's new Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO), which will be created this year to bolster the nation's defences against online attacks.

Ranked at the highest level of Mindef's organisational hierarchy, the DCO will equip both full-time and operationally ready national servicemen with cyber-security skills.

Specifically, a cyber-security vocation will start in national service in August to allow tech prodigies to receive cyber-security training in incident response and forensic investigation, among other areas. Mindef plans to train 2,600 cyber defenders in 10 years.

The moves follow a recent "carefully planned" attack on a Mindef server, discovered in February. Mr Koh is also the chief executive of another high-level agency, the Cyber Security Agency (CSA).

CSA, formed in April 2015 under the Prime Minister's Office, is tasked with coordinating public- and private-sector efforts to protect critical national systems, such as those in the energy and banking sectors.

It developed Singapore's cyber- security strategy, rolled out in October last year.

There are plans to set aside about 8 per cent of the infocommunications technology budget for cyber-security spending, up from about 5 per cent before. In fiscal 2014, Singapore spent $408.6 million on cyber security.

Mr Koh served in the Singapore Armed Forces, and held various command and staff appointments in Mindef and the SAF.

He graduated from King's College London with a bachelor's degree in electrical and electronics engineering. He also has a master's in public administration from Harvard University.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore names cyber defence chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe