Choose name that shows cyber enemies we mean business

The Ministry of Defence's move to create the role of "cyber defenders" under a new cyber-security vocation was certainly a sharp move to combat carefully planned attacks that exploit the Singapore Armed Forces' vulnerability (Cyber defenders wanted on the new battlefield; March 9).

But, I cannot help but feel that the name does not go far enough in portraying the swift, decisive and comprehensive annihilation of an invisible foe.

What is in a name? Plenty, if it involves an enduring psychological battle against an unknown enemy.

The word "defender" is passive, reactive and soft.

Mindef should not shy from taking an aggressive stance against whoever is bent on compromising our military security.

It is not just semantics; the right title imbues the bearer with the right attitude. It also plays a psychological role in hardening one's resolve and exploring one's creativity.

Professionally speaking, military cyber surveillance cannot afford to be defensive. It has to constantly play the devil's advocate, if not behave like the devil himself, to nip Internet hazards before they surface.

The name of this new group ought to signify the definitive traits of thinking out of the box, the ability to put oneself in the enemy's shoes, and the concept of first strike.

Perhaps we could consider calling them cyber experts, cyber warriors, cyber commandos, cyber troopers or cyber fighters.

Sunny Goh (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Choose name that shows cyber enemies we mean business'. Print Edition | Subscribe