Interview with CyberCall Expert Panellist Prof Alex Siow

Date: 12 Jul 2022

This post features Prof Alex Siow, who was among a stellar panel of experts called on to contribute their technical knowledge to the 2021 Cybersecurity Industry Call for Innovation, an initiative by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. He is a Professor (Practice) in the department of Information Systems and Analytics of the School of Computing at National University of Singapore (NUS).

The call attracts cybersecurity innovators with clever solutions to address challenges laid out by participating end-users. To remove cost as a barrier to innovation, CSA awards up to S$1M for the co-development of promising projects.

Imperative to call’s success, the expert panel provides advice on the technical novelty and suitability of submitted proposals. For their contributions in pushing the frontiers of cybersecurity innovation, we thank Prof Alex and fellow expert panellists!

Read on to learn more about Prof Alex and why he’s doing this.

Interview with Prof Alex Siow

You have led and transformed many businesses through technological innovation in your career. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I have been involved in many digital transformation projects since 1990 when I was the CIO of the Housing & Development Board. My greatest satisfaction was the introduction of workflow computing to the whole organization. During my time in NUS, I was involved in the digital transformation of the TechcomBank in Hanoi and my team introduced data governance, data visualization and enhancement of customer experience.

What is one unexpected thing that people don’t know about you?

I am more well-known as an IT professional but not everyone knows that I was trained as a civil engineer and worked as a structural engineer in HDB at the start of my career. Even less people know that I was at one time, the head of enterprise sales in StarHub.

Cybersecurity is a key enabler for digital transformation. What emerging areas in cybersecurity are you most excited about? 

I am most excited about the advent of DevSecOps as a framework to integrate of security as a shared responsibility throughout the whole IT lifecycle. Making security as everyone’s responsibility is the way to go.

As part of the Technical Panel for the CyberCall, you played an indispensable role in evaluating proposals for quality and innovation. Are there any areas that you would like to see more innovation in? How can start-ups leverage these opportunities?

I am very excited to see many of the competing teams employing AI and data analytics to enhance cybersecurity. I would like to see more AI-enabled security incident management response (solutions) making cybersecurity management more pro-active.

Why should companies join the CyberCall?

Singapore is one of the most innovative countries in the world because of many visionary entrepreneurs that are able to harness the latest technologies to enhance business. These include many innovative ideas in cybersecurity. It is important that these ideas that can elevate the cybersecurity landscape be integrated into the business landscape through the CyberCall.

> Learn how you can leverage opportunities in the CyberCall here.

About Prof Alex Siow

Prof Alex Siow is Professor (Practice) in the department of Information Systems and Analytics of the School of Computing, NUS since 2015.

Prior to the current appointment, Prof Alex was the Managing Director, Health & Public Service at Accenture Pte Ltd. Alex started his career as a Structural Engineer in the Housing & Development Board in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become the Chief Information Officer in 1989. In 2003, Alex joined the private sector and became the Senior Vice-President in StarHub Ltd. At StarHub he held various roles including Head, Business Markets, CIO  and Head, Enterprise Risk Management. In 2012, he joined Accenture as a Managing Director, Health and Public Service.

Alex held various appointments in the IT community including President of Singapore Computer Society, President of IT Management Association and President of PMI Singapore Chapter. He is currently the Chairman of the Cloud Security Alliance Singapore Chapter.

Alex is currently in a number of boards, including Toffs Technologies, DART Consulting, Red Alpha, SUSS, THK Moral Charities, Findjobs, KSC Consulting, Tee International and AMK-THK Hospital.

Alex’s book “Leading with IT: Lessons from Singapore’s first CIO” was published in Feb 2021.

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