A very good evening and congratulations for completing the Advanced Youth Cyber Exploration Programme Capture the Flag Competition, or AYCEP CTF. You have all worked hard at the Advanced Youth Cyber Exploration Programme bootcamp to qualify for this competition. No matter the results, all of you deserve a big round of applause for your hard work.
I hope you enjoyed the CTF. It reflects what life is like as a cybersecurity professional. Allow me to share why.
Cybersecurity requires adaptability.
First, cybersecurity requires adaptability. You did this as you went through the different challenges of the CTF competition, adapting and reacting on the spot.
Cybersecurity requires adaptability because cybersecurity is a dynamic field. The threat landscape is constantly evolving because new digital technologies are always being developed.
When I graduated from school, I would never have imagined having a powerful computing device so small that it could fit in my pockets. Today, smartphones are commonplace and indispensable to our lives.
However, our reliance on smartphones also means that these devices are now highly attractive targets for cyber threat actors. Mobile cybersecurity is thus a growing concern. In a mobile security survey, cybersecurity firm Check Point found that nearly half of the organisations were impacted by malicious mobile applications downloaded by their employees.1
We will be constantly be presented with new cybersecurity challenges. Learning new skills and knowledge is thus key to staying ahead of malicious actors, who are always looking for new ways to exploit the technology we use.
To support young cyber enthusiasts like yourselves in this journey, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) has developed a learning roadmap called the SG Cyber Youth Odyssey. This roadmap, which will be made available on CSA’s website, provides clear milestones to guide your cybersecurity journey. I would encourage all of you to utilise this resource to advance your skills in cybersecurity. We are also working with schools and institutes so that the training that you receive will be based on a common set of learning outcomes.
Cybersecurity requires tenacity
Second, cybersecurity requires tenacity.
Just like how all of you have persevered through the various milestones to Capture the Flag, cybersecurity professionals must be tenacious when solving real-world cybersecurity problems.
Take threat hunting as an example. It is not easy to search for cyber threats that are lurking in our networks, especially when our adversary is an advanced persistent threat. Threat hunters need to continuously gather information and evaluate their hypotheses to conduct a successful investigation.
I hope that all of you will maintain the spirit of tenacity that was demonstrated at this CTF competition. This trait will serve you well in your cybersecurity career.
For those who are still considering whether a cybersecurity career is right for you, I would like to also take this opportunity to encourage you to explore this option.
Singapore is working towards our goal of becoming a Smart Nation. Cybersecurity lays the foundation for Singapore to digitalise confidently and achieve our goals. As a cybersecurity professional, your work enables trust in Singapore’s digital economy. You will also play an important role in creating a safe digital environment for all of us.
As various sectors in the economy digitalise, cybersecurity professionals will also have the rare privilege applying their skills in a wide range of industries. So give cybersecurity a try! There is a plethora of job roles, industries, and companies for you to choose from. Who knows, you may discover newfound passions in this process.
Cybersecurity requires us to work as a team.
Lastly, cybersecurity requires us to work as a team, just as some of you did in the CTF competition.
Many of you are highly talented individuals, possessing strong cybersecurity skills and knowledge at a young age.
However, cybersecurity is not an individual activity; it is a team sport. It is through discourse and exchange that we learn more about the latest threats and techniques. We often come up with the best solutions when we bounce ideas with our friends, including those who may not be as technically inclined.
As you continue your cybersecurity journey, I would encourage all of you to remember that we achieve more as a team. Stay plugged-in to the cybersecurity community. Join your school’s infocomm club. Participate in cybersecurity events and most importantly make friends along the way!
Before I announce the winners, I would like to congratulate all of you once again for completing a rigorous bootcamp and competition.
And without further ado, I will now announce the Top 3 individual winners of the CTF and the Top Team for the group CTF.
1 46% of organisations surveyed had at least one employee download a malicious mobile application that threatened their organisation’s networks and data. Check Point’s Mobile Security Report 2021.
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