SUTD Launches Singapore’s One-of-a-Kind Master of Science in Security by Design

10 Nov 2016

Focus: cybersecurity for critical networks and infrastructure such as water, electrical grids, transportation, manufacturing, banking, telco networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Singapore, 10 November 2016 – The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is now accepting applications for the pioneer batch of Master of Science in Security by Design (MSSD) – a one-of-a-kind programme in Singapore. Classes in this one (full-time) to two-year (part-time) programme are scheduled to begin in September 2017 with a maximum stipulated enrollment of 30 students. Catering to academically strong graduates with engineering, computer science and information technology background, this programme will offer in-depth education in cybersecurity using SUTD’s signature approach of active learning with a focus on design. 
The MSSD programme will provide students with the required skill set to design secured systems in a diverse group of organisations as well as analyse the security and privacy levels of the existing systems. Students in the MSSD programme will have ready access to SUTD’s facilities in cyber physical systems including the testbeds for secure water treatment, water distribution, power grid and the Internet of Things. These testbeds would provide practical training, application and hacking opportunities in critical networks and infrastructure.
SUTD provost Professor Chong Tow Chong said: “SUTD is offering this Master’s programme to address the rapidly growing need for skilled professionals in the area of cybersecurity as Singapore gears up to become a Smart Nation. Graduates from this programme will be able to design and implement cybersecurity solutions for critical infrastructures that are vulnerable to various cybersecurity threats – an expertise that is being highly sought-after even as we speak now.”
Admitted applicants will have a sound mathematical background and ability to develop and test computer programs. Applicants with rich academic background and work experience but lacking programming ability, would be offered the option to go through an intensive course in computer programming before being formally admitted to the MSSD programme.
Classes will be conducted in the evenings to enable a broad section of students to benefit from the programme. To graduate, students will be required to pass four core subjects and two electives, attend mandatory seminars, participate in security tools laboratory sessions and complete an industry project or research thesis. International internship opportunities are being worked out with several universities and research organisations.

Quotes from various public and private organisations, as well as students, endorsing the MSSD can be found in Annex A below.

Annex A

SUTD Undergraduate

“In the MSSD Programme, I can look forward to gaining precious hands-on experience working on the existing cyber physical systems and test beds and learning to incorporate different fields such as Smart Grid Technology, Autonomous Vehicles and Internet of Things, which are evolving rapidly. The recent cyber attack on Dyn through IoT devices shows how vulnerable IoT devices are and I see the importance of building security awareness and knowledge, and learning how to mitigate cyber attacks on our key infrastructure and network.”

  • Mr William Koh, 23, Information Systems Technology and Design, Class of 2017, SUTD

Ernst & Young

“Our experience working with public and private sector clients is that a mature and agile cybersecurity ecosystem is core to Singapore’s bid to be both a secure and smart nation. Security by design is one of the key requirements in developing resilient critical infrastructure systems and software in today’s vulnerable cyber environment. EY is happy to support the SUTD’s Master of Science, which will be important in progressing the capability and manpower development of the cybersecurity workforce in Singapore.”

  • Mr Ganesh Narayanan, Director, Advisory-Cyber Security (Operational Technology-OT), Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd

ST Electronics

“ST Electronics is supportive of the Master of Science in Security by Design programme offered by SUTD. As a leading technology company and provider of advanced cybersecurity solutions for mission-critical and large-scale systems for government and enterprises, it is of paramount importance to incorporate upfront security considerations in system designs. This programme is designed to enhance the students’ competency in this area. Leveraging ST Electronics-SUTD Cyber Security Laboratory’s research and development efforts, students from SUTD are also encouraged to be part of the Laboratory’s research initiatives in their pursuit for academic excellence in cybersecurity.”

  • Mr Goh Eng Choon, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ST Electronics (Info-Security).   

Cyber Security Agency

“The introduction of SUTD’s Master of Science in Security by Design course is apt and timely. This course will provide a unique curriculum to train students in cybersecurity and the architecting of security into the design of systems. Singapore’s journey to be a Smart Nation is only possible if we have strong cybersecurity capabilities. To protect our critical information infrastructures, we need to develop knowledge as well as the solutions to address them. SUTD’s initiative will complement ongoing capacity-building efforts in the public and private sectors to better equip our students to grow in the exciting and fast-growing cyber arena.”

  • Mr Lim Soon Chia, Director (Technology) of Cyber Security Agency 

Ministry of Home Affairs

“The proposed MSc programme with its emphasis on Security by Design augments what other institutions are already doing in the current cybersecurity education landscape. The Centre for Cyber Security Studies (CCSS) of the Home Team Academy, believes that cybersecurity has to be an integral and intrinsic aspect of any ICT systems and not an afterthought, especially in view of the cyber threat landscape.  For this reason, the same principle is infused into our relevant programmes. The Master of Science in Security by Design by SUTD will play an important role in the nurturing of cybersecurity professionals by equipping them with vital knowledge and practical skills in building secure ICT systems to safeguard online information and data.”

  • Mr Teddy Ong, Senior Deputy Director, Centre for Cyber Security Studies, Home Team Academy, Ministry of Home Affairs