Kimberlyn Ngoh is a Senior Consultant, IT Governance & Security with CPF Board. She graduated from NTU School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering with a Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Info-Communications Engineering.
Phishing scams and cybersecurity attacks targeting financial institutions have made for headline news recently, with the OCBC and DBS scams seeing hundreds lose at least S$8.5 million. These devastating events clearly highlight the importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding our finances.
Kimberlyn Ngoh is a Senior Consultant, IT Governance & Security in Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, where she holds an integralrole safeguarding the funds that serve Singaporeans' retirement and financial needs. She and her team keep the Board's computerinformation systems safe, by developing and implementing security measures to build a resilient and secured cyber environment.
Her work serves as a living testimony that a career with the CPF Board is neither stodgy nor boring. Rather, the Board is constantly looking for innovative solutions and latest technologies, while consistently staying a step ahead of threats. Kimberlyn thrives in this environment where she can put her cybersecurity knowledge to work protecting our assets and livelihoods.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Kimberlyn is very much one of us – someone always on her phone, using the web to access information, making payments and executing the daily tasks of life. "I certainly love the convenienceof how information can be easily accessible to me, only a clickaway!" she laughed.
But that led to a more sobering realisation that with conveniencecomes vulnerability. "Phone scams and bank scams are getting soprevalent nowadays," she continued. "As much as we are getting more informed, hackers are also evolving in their techniques as well."
"This was what reaffirmed my passion in cybersecurity, andbecame interested in making a difference by safeguarding cyberspace."
Around that time, she attended a career sharing session where she learned about the IT Graduate Programme at CPF Board–NextGen Programme.
"There were two aspects [of the programme] that attracted me," she recalled. "Firstly, I was able to go to the Cyber Security Department which I wanted and secondly, there was mentorship provided. CPF Board was willing to nurture fresh graduates to head start their careers and I think this was necessary for us to learn from the experts in this field. To me, embarking on my first job should be a place where I can learn the most and I felt that CPF Board and this programme would provide a good steppingstone for me to acquire more IT knowledge and skills to embark on my IT security career."
Indeed, the NextGen Programme is great for fresh graduates to begin their careers, while providing a space for like-minded peers to grow together with guided mentorship.
Secure at CPF
Kimberlyn deeply benefitted from the programme that gave her the opportunities to grow into the all-rounded security specialist she is today.
As a Senior Security Consultant, she handles numerous security projects with the aim of mitigating risk. These projects span the length and breadth of the security landscape, so there is never a dull moment for Kimberlyn.
Notable projects included the User Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) solution. The UEBA uses innovation analytics technology such as Machine Learning and Deep Learning to model and build a profile for normal standard behaviour. Then, the software can anomalous deviance from the profile and flag it. In the project, she developed log ingestion pipelines to create custom models and rules relevant to the board's use cases.
Other projects include incidence forensics and threat hunting in the system to ensure the accuracy in the systems' operations and developing an algorithm that uses the globally accessible knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques called the MITRE ATT&CK framework. Kimberlyn takes great pride in this, telling us happily that it was coined "a true-blue innovation of the Board".
"Whenever I share about CPF Board's work culture to my peers, they will be surprised about how advanced and innovative CPF Board is," she smiled.
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"At the organisational level, the management strongly encourages innovations and provides many opportunities for staffs to challenge themselves to create solutions to improve their work efficacy. Such platforms include the 'Made-in-CPF' projects where like-minded individuals can come together to work on projects that can value-add to the board."
However, she was quick to bring the purpose of these innovations to the forefront.
"With the majority of Singaporeans having their money kept in CPF, it is very crucial that their hard-earned money is safely guarded for their retirement," she emphasised. "It takes more than just one individual to hold the fort and there are many different teams in CPF Board who are working hard daily to prevent data from being compromised by the attackers worldwide."
"With strict security precautions and great team effort in place, I believe that our work has kept Singapore safe."
Possibility and Learning at CPF
A purposeful career and open learning landscape make CPF Board the employer of choice for fresh graduates. Kimberlyn hopes others will join the team and flourish as she did.
"CPF Board values every staff and their contribution, no matter big or small. So long as you have the heart to learn and explore new possibilities within or out of your job scope, there will always be opportunities available here," she said in conclusion.
"If you like challenges and are willing to learn, then CPF Board is the right path to start your career. CPF Board encourages growth and learning is always possible!"