He breaks in to keep hackers out

Mr Lyon Yang Shiwei.

Hacking is part of his job.

In fact, part of Mr Lyon Yang Shiwei's job scope includes breaking corporate cyber security codes.

But the 25-year-old is one of the good guys. The "hacking'' is part of his job as a security consultant at security-assessment.com, a security company with a strong focus on research and development..

He said: "I have loved working with computers since I was in primary school.

Mr Yang graduated from Temasek Polytechnic in 2008 with a Diploma in Infocommunication, and enrolled in SIM Global Education (SIM GE) after his national service.

He enrolled as a full-time student in the Bachelor of Computer Science (Digital Systems Security) at SIM GE from March 2011 to March this year.

The degree is awarded by University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia, and his polytechnic diploma enabled him to enter at Year 2 of his course.

Mr Yang graduated with distinction, and was among the top 5 per cent of his cohort.

The younger of two children said: "After graduating from polytechnic, I was looking for a computer course and I chose SIM GE because they had courses on cyber security. I also chose SIM GE because my cousin graduated from the same course and he found a job with a well-known computer firm not long after graduation."

Mr Yang's course comprised project work and examinations.

He said: "The course taught me very good fundamentals of computer science and cyber security. The lecturers from UOW were mostly Australian researchers who published their findings in scientific papers.

My favourite module was cryptography, the study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties. We were taught how to select and apply appropriate fundamental cryptographic building blocks, such as encryption, hashing and authentication, based on a critical analysis of an application scenario. Implement cryptographic algorithms in Java or C/C++."

Besides cryptography, the course also taught Mr Yang and his classmates, made up of Singaporeans and a few other nationalities, about various computer programming languages, surveillance techniques and administration of computer servers.

Mr Yang said: "In my work, I evaluate the security of application and enterprise network by attempting to look for potential vulnerabilities. Security issues uncovered through the penetration test will be presented to the clients with security remediation advice."

During his studies at SIM GE, Mr Yang sought out and attended various cyber security conferences here and overseas, where he met and networked with cyber security professionals.

Such personal and professional networks helped build up his portfolio to land his current job.

From January to March this year, Mr Yang interned at the Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies (CSIT), an agency in the Ministry of Defence that focuses on research and development and solutions development in information and communications technologies to fulfill Singapore's strategic needs.

This internship is a final-year project option for SIM-UOW Digital Systems Security students in the final term of their studies. Students on the Bachelor of Computer Science (Digital Systems Security) programme can apply to the CSIT for internships and scholarships.

Mr Yang was also a member of the executive committee of the SIM-UOW Student Council, where he helped organise the quarterly orientation camps for the UOW students, and also helped design publicity materials such as posters and T-shirts.

When asked about his future plans, Mr Yang, who is expected to travel widely in his job, said he might eventually study for a master's degree.

He said: "My mother, a secretarial manager, never pressured me and supported my choice of course. So when I enrolled in SIM GE, I decided to give all I could in my studies to make her proud as she has been my inspiration."

WHY THIS COURSE

THE Bachelor of Computer Science (Digital Systems Security) is awarded by University of Wollongong, Australia.

This three-year degree provides all the benefits of a computer science qualification-focusing on the development of high-level programming skills applicable across the widest range of applications.

Students will be equipped with superior skills in design and methodology in preparation for leadership roles in the field of computer science with a major emphasis on security technologies. They become effective computer security practitioners at a professional level, including the ability to identify computer security problems within a wide range of scenarios and then devising means for countering the threats: understanding of information protection and efficient coding strategies that can be used to ensure correctness, security and authenticity of data; the practical implementation of network security technologies.

"Our degree is an industry focused, leading-edge technology degree, building applied technical and professional skills in demand in Singapore's info-comm industry." - Professor Willy Susilo, Senior Academic Program Director Singapore, University of Wollongong, Australia


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