After completing the Specialist Certificate in Cyber Security, learner Ooi Kok Rie is better equipped to ensure the security of space-based cloud infrastructure
By Mary Wu
June 7, 2022
Cloud storage has become a norm due to the changing nature of work where more people are accessing data from various locations and sharing files with multiple users. However, what Mr Ooi Kok Rie does goes one step further – he is building the “cloud above the cloud”.
Cloud storage refers to the storage of data on independently managed systems (such as on the commonly used Google ) and accessed via the Internet, whereas what Mr Ooi is working on takes these systems higher, above our atmosphere, for better physical and cyber security.
In July 2020, Mr Ooi, 50, assumed the role of managing director at SpaceBelt, a company that will be launching and operating a patented, highly secure data storage service network housed on satellites orbiting earth. SpaceBelt’s potential users include enterprises and governments who access sensitive data only via ultra-secure dedicated terminals.
The data is transmitted back to the ground for use in a wide range of operations including earth observations and communications between different locations.
For this space tech industry, cyber security is imperative. Given the rapid developments in the space tech sector, Mr Ooi continuously upskills himself to stay abreast of the latest developments of the cyber security world.
He decided on the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Centre for Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE@NTU), which offers stackable certificate courses that could culminate in a specialist certificate – in his case, the Specialist Certificate in Cyber Security. He completed all the courses and received his certificate in June 2021.
NTU houses the Satellite Research Centre that was set up in 2011 to drive R&D projects in space science and technology.
Having taken other industry-based courses that provided only theory-based study, Mr Ooi was impressed by the relevancy of the cyber security courses at PaCE@NTU and how in-depth and up-to-date the materials were.
He says: “The practical assignments and tutorials for some courses gave me a first-hand feel of the plausible cyber security threats and issues that we could face in the course of our day-to-day work as IT security professionals.”
For example, Mr Ooi not only learnt about the various security threats, but also how these cyber attacks were performed, the types of techniques used and what organisations can do to protect themselves. The course also highlighted case studies of recent malicious cyber security attacks.
Another course also touched on encryption technologies, which gave him a deeper understanding of how the “handshake” of the encryption keys that authenticate the exchange between sender and receiver allows the exchange of information without compromising data security.
Mr Ooi recalls that certain course content can be challenging, but he received plenty of help from lecturers who were always online and made great efforts to make sure learners fully grasp the course materials.
He feels that with the advent of space tech and the flurry of space activities in recent years, the extraterrestrial future will be a new frontier for humans to explore.
“The PaCE@NTU courses not only complemented what I have learnt and practised before, but also further reinforced my confidence and gave me new insights of how I can improve myself holistically in terms of seeing different problems in different perspectives,” he says.
Find out more about the NTU Stackable Certificates at https://www.ntu.edu.sg/pace/programmes/stackable-certificates