Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies
Feature | CSIT

Fortifying the Future of Singapore’s Cyber Defence 

The Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies (CSIT) Undergraduate Scholar Jasmine Toh stands as a formidable vanguard of Singapore’s national security through her vital work at CSIT. Her expertise revolves around designing and developing scalable systems such as web applications and data platforms that are pivotal in detecting and investigating advanced and sophisticated cyber threats to national security.

Jasmine Toh is a recipient of the CSIT Undergraduate Scholarship and holds a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Analytics from NUS. Currently, she is a Software Engineer at the Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies. 

Technology has significantly influenced daily life, streamlining our routines. However, it has also revealed new vulnerabilities, posing risks to personal security and national defence. The Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies (CSIT) is a technical agency in the Ministry of Defence that harnesses cutting-edge digital technologies to develop capabilities to protect Singapore against advanced and sophisticated cyber threats.

Through the CSIT Undergraduate Scholarship, talented individuals like Jasmine are empowered to bolster these capabilities. As a Software Engineer at CSIT, she has been instrumental in developing operational products and systems.

While Jasmine’s degree studies at NUS initially focused on data science and analytics, it was during this educational journey that she discovered her inherent fascination with programming. Delving into the challenges of problem-solving within software engineering, she found herself drawn to its open-ended nature, relishing the freedom it offered for diverse approaches.

“I appreciate the freedom it offers in problem-solving; there’s no one right answer, and diverse approaches are possible. It requires only a computer, patience to explore online resources, creativity and the passion for developing good software,” she shared.

Charting Her Ideal Path

Discovering the CSIT Undergraduate Scholarship during Jasmine’s second year of university was a pivotal moment that led to her decision to embark on an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) career. “The scholarship’s emphasis on individual merit rather than traditional leadership qualities resonated with me,” she explained, considering herself a “quiet and hardworking” student. This scholarship’s departure from conventional prerequisites encouraged her to take a leap and apply.

Securing the CSIT Scholarship not only brought personal achievement but also provided substantial financial relief for Jasmine and her family. The mid-term scholarship reimbursed the previous two years of her tuition fees, significantly easing their financial strain. Additionally, the scholarship has allowed her to partake in an enriching overseas exchange programme which expanded her cultural horizons, fostering personal growth and broadening her perspectives.

“The most meaningful aspect of the work we do is knowing that our efforts and passion for programming and software engineering directly contribute to Singapore’s security needs.”  Jasmine Toh

Turning Passion into Purpose

In her current role as a Software Engineer within CSIT’s Operations Product Department, Jasmine specialises in crafting scalable systems crucial for detecting national security threats. Her work involves developing web applications and data platforms, ensuring seamless integration through rigorous system testing.

Reflecting on the significance of her work, Jasmine shared, “The most meaningful aspect of the work we do is knowing that our efforts and passion for programming and software engineering directly contribute to Singapore’s security needs.”

Thriving in a Collaborative Environment

She also values the collaborative spirit among her colleagues. “My colleagues readily lend a helping hand when challenges arise by sharing insights and providing good advice. What stands out to me is our collective drive to streamline work processes and achieve our mission. There is an atmosphere of mutual support and genuine camaraderie,” she mused.

At CSIT, there are also many engagement opportunities with senior leadership. These interactions enabled her to gain insights into the complexities of project management, tech leadership, staff development and HR issues that her leaders deal with passionately. She shared, “I was surprised by the high priority that my leaders place on personnel issues. Despite their busy schedule, they are still able to stay current with the latest technology, which is a testament to their dedication and commitment towards CSIT’s work and people”.

Jasmine’s advice to aspiring CSIT professionals underscores the diverse opportunities within domains like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and cloud infrastructure, and the abundant avenues for growth. “At CSIT, each of us takes charge of our own personal and professional growth. We are encouraged to rotate within the organisation to try out different roles or delve deep into specific domains,” she said.

The ability to try different domains or development as a domain expert presents a myriad of opportunities that meet the different aspirations of individuals.