13 May 2022
Name: Han Wei Chou
Job: Senior Engineer (Cybersecurity)
Wei Chou obtained his Bachelor of Engineering in Information and Communications Technology (Software Engineering) from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in 2019.
While commuting to work, I scan the internet to stay up to date with the latest news and trends in the digital space. As a cybersecurity engineer in DSTA, it is important for me to stay abreast of the evolving cyber landscape, as it provides me with valuable insights and knowledge to better innovate and develop technological capabilities for Singapore's defence.
My work involves designing and developing solutions to enhance the security of mobile devices for the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). While mobile devices and apps are great enablers for enterprise functions and military operations, mobile malware is becoming increasingly rampant and sophisticated. My team explores and develops advanced cyber solutions to strengthen the security of these devices, and in doing so, safeguard our military information.
To ensure that everyone is synced up and our projects are on track, we hold regular team meetings to provide project updates and discuss the way forward. We also raise any challenges or roadblocks faced, and everyone works together to brainstorm for solutions and resolve issues promptly.
DSTA has an open culture that supports collaboration and the sharing of ideas. This provides a conducive environment for us to bounce ideas off one another, expand potential solutions, and improve our products swiftly, which I really appreciate.
I hop on a call with my counterparts from MINDEF and the SAF where we discuss our project requirements. Working closely with our partners is critical to understanding their needs and ensuring our solutions add value to their work. It’s also really interesting to learn about the unique work that they do!
Food brings people together, and my colleagues and I enjoy connecting over lunch too. Our office cafeteria offers a range of delectable food options, which are complemented by other foodie-approved choices around our office’s vicinity. By exchanging knowledge and sharing our diverse experiences about our hobbies and interesting technologies, we are able to forge stronger bonds.
My team and I work on many of the latest and emerging areas across cybersecurity, be it performing forensics to understand malware behaviour, conducting research and developing code, testing the software developed, or performing vulnerability assessments and penetration testing.
One of my projects is a secure mobility suite, which utilises in-house developed software and artificial intelligence to detect and analyse anomalous behaviour on devices. The solution leverages sensors that can monitor around 50 different aspects on devices, such as network activity, unauthorised connections and more. Even though my work isn’t seen by the public, I find it incredibly satisfying to be able to do hands-on exploration, and build products that can make a real impact to our nation’s defence.
My programme centre has a monthly initiative called Sports Hour, where we’re encouraged to leave work an hour earlier to exercise if we don’t have urgent work on hand. I take this time to do a short workout at our office gym. Beyond that, we also take time to bond over fun activities like virtual craft workshops and celebrate festive seasons together. I treasure the friendships and camaraderie we share.
I reserve my evenings for my family and for recharging myself, so that I’m prepared for the next day’s work. Working in DSTA is challenging, exciting and most meaningful as we get to evolve with technology and develop cutting-edge capabilities to meet Singapore’s defence and safety needs.
This article was first published in GradSingapore’s STEM Career Guide 2022. Read the full publication here.