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A Career in I.T – ‘It’s Not What You Think It Is’

A Career in I.T – ‘It’s Not What You Think It Is’

While most people are sound asleep, Tok Yee Ching (pictured above) spends his late nights reading to stay up to date with the latest trends and threats in cyberspace. The SIM-University of London BSc (Hons) in Computing and Information Systems graduate has always been passionate about his job as an advanced cybersecurity professional at a cybersecurity solutions company where he identifies and counters cyber threats by hackers through the use of network, endpoint and security log data.

Yee Ching believes that the programme that he took up at SIM GE has been an important stepping stone to pursue his passion in computing. “The syllabus in my programme gave me a good foundation to understand the various bodies of knowledge required from both the technical and business perspective,” he says.

Beyond the classroom, Yee Ching was also actively involved in co-curricular activities where he took up the role of IT Security Director of the SIM IT Club.

He also led the formation of the Association of Information Security Professionals (AiSP) Student Chapter in SIM back in June 2011, and organised the first information security focused conference in October 2012.

“SIM GE has played a key role in equipping me with the knowledge and soft skills to venture out as a global citizen,” he adds.

With the knowledge and skills that he gained at SIM GE, Yee Ching was offered a job as a penetration tester before completing his degree. He spent the next three years in this role while taking up a part-time Masters in Information Security at Royal Holloway, University of London. While he was undergoing the programme, he moved on to work as a threat hunter, hunting for advanced adversaries and malicious behaviour in his clients’ network and host endpoints.

Yee Ching is currently a PhD student at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), under the Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) Pillar.

While his scope of work differs from previous roles, Yee Ching decided to challenge himself by taking a route less travelled. “I was inspired by the various security researchers who contributed greatly to the field of information security. Thus, I wanted to contribute to the field as well by doing some focused research and making the digital world a more secure place,” he explains.

His profession also comes with high demands. He shares: “The information security profession might seem exciting but...there are times where one has to go above and beyond the call of duty to resolve the crisis that clients face. I think having a passion for information security helped me to overcome them.”

When asked if there are common misconceptions about his job, Yee Ching replies,

"Guys working in this profession are certainly not nerds or boring. We often have to be client-facing and present our findings to our clients’ middle and senior management. For more adventurous professionals, they speak at local or international information security conferences, presenting their research and are highly valued by clients and the industry.”

Yee Ching hopes to continue engaging with the information security industry by presenting his research at conferences and teaching part-time at the Institutes of Higher Learning to share his knowledge. He also intends to further hone his information security skills while pursuing his PhD.

Posted online, 05 February 2018