The Cyber Assembly

As Singapore and the rest of the world increasingly move online, cybersecurity threats will only continue to grow. In order to mitigate these threats, it is crucial to invest more resources towards reinforcing our security in cyberspace.

However, there is a critical lack of talent in the cybersecurity space to handle the ever-growing threats. Frost & Sullivan has recently forecasted a shortfall of 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals by 2020. Furthermore, the nature of cyber-attacks changes all the time so there is a need to equip people with the latest skills to handle such attacks.

Given the increasing global threat of cybercrime, coupled with the growing cybersecurity skills gap crisis, cybersecurity startup The Cyber Assembly sees a space for them to fill – by connecting people to cyberskills via their active learning platforms. Based in Singapore, the team hopes to play a part in the push for local innovation in cybersecurity and to make a difference in the region.

How It All Started

The Cyber Assembly was founded in 2017 by NTU alumnus Mr Ng Pan Yong (SCSE/1998). Having spent the bulk of his working years in the corporate sector, he arrived at a point in his career when he felt a strong need to step out on his own to pursue his passion in cybersecurity.

“The reality of the situation is that many people are working jobs which may be irrelevant in 5 years’ time, and they are unaware of this. What keeps me going is how I can translate my passion into impact by equipping students and mid-career professionals with real skills for the future – and empowering them at the same time,” says Pan Yong.

The Cyber Assembly’s first full-time employee also hails from NTU – Pan Yong had met cybersecurity developer Johan Tan (SCSE/2019) at a cybersecurity competition. The two then crossed paths again during a sharing Pan Yong did for NTU students. Pan Yong then wasted no time in inviting Johan to intern at the startup, which he did for 3 months in 2018 before joining the team full-time at the start of 2019.

The Cyber Assembly & NTUitive

Pan Yong had gotten to know Mr Richard Oh, a member of the Enterprise Development team at NTUitive many years back, and had approached him for guidance in getting some much needed funding to get the startup up and running. With NTUitive’s help, Pan Yong managed to secure the SG Founder grant in 2018. The team then worked from NTUitive’s hot-desking space at JTC Launchpad @ one-north during the latter half of the year.

Pan Yong also values the time and face-time he gets with guests at events organised by NTUitive, such as students and government officials. He recently had the opportunity to meet with Ms Lai Wei Lin, 2nd Permanent Secretary (Education) at the Ministry of Education, and he shared with her his thoughts on cybersecurity – particularly the importance of teaching the community the right things to do when dealing with technology, and that this should be done early on when children are still in school.

Banking on the strong NTU link, the team is also exploring business opportunities with the different schools within the university.

What’s Next for The Cyber Assembly?

The team has been using Singapore as a base since they started almost two years ago, and they are ready to go regional by year-end. Their target markets are countries whose people are building a lot of tech – fintech in particular. Given that there is a big fintech boom in the region and one cannot build a fintech product without thinking about cybersecurity, the team recognises that Asia is the place to go and expand to.

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