The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Deputy Secretary of Technology, David Koh, has been named the head of the nation’s new cyber structures. He already heads the Cyber Security Agency (CSA), which was created in 2015 to coordinate protection of critical national systems in the energy and banking fields, but will now lead the Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO), to be stood up later this year.
Specifically, the DCO will implement the decision to begin a cyber security vocation for national servicemen from August this year, developing, enabling and supporting training for the incident response and forensic investigation roles, among others. MINDEF currently plans to train 2,600 ‘cyber defenders’ over the next ten years.
The creation of DCO has been in part inspired by the discovery of a planned attack – one presenting a credible threat, according to MINDEF sources – on a defence server network as recently as February. The cyber strategy revealed in October last year, developed by CSA, earmarks some 8% of the IT budget for cyber security – an increase from the previous level of 5%. Singapore spent a little over $400 million on cyber defence in 2014.
Koh, 52, is a graduate of King’s College London (Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering), and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. He has held various staff and command appointments in the Singapore Armed Forces and MINDEF.