Frequently Asked Questions

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The term “Security by Design” refers to an approach where security considerations are embedded into system design and implemented before the system becomes operational. Thus, appropriate security policies, tools, and methods are embedded into the system during its implementation instead of doing so after the system is operational. Security by Design requires careful analysis of system requirements—both functional and non-functional – assuming that the system will operate in a malicious environment.
The objective of MSSD is to take in science and engineering graduates and offer them quality education in the area of cyber security. Such education will enable graduates from MSSD to serve as designers and analysts in a broad range of organizations including banks, public utilities, medical facilities, and transportation.
MSSD will add to the much needed quality manpower in the area of cyber security to design and manage a variety of complex systems in a Smart Nation.
Students in MSSD will have ready access to some of the world’s best facilities in cyber physical systems including testbeds for Secure Water Treatment (SWaT), Electric Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC), Water Distribution (WADI), and Internet of Things (IoT). In addition, a cyber security laboratory will enable the students to conduct experiments using widely available tools such as those for intrusion detection, traffic monitoring and analysis, and system modeling and analysis.
iTrust, Center for Research in Cyber Security, is a leading center for research in cyber security. It focuses on creating design-centric solutions for enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure through foundational and applied research. iTrust is the host of four world-class testbeds in water treatment, water distribution, smart grid, and IoT. In addition iTrust hosts four custom designed test skids built around Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) widely used in Industrial Control Systems. The PLCs available for experimentation in the test skids are from Allen-Bradley, National Instruments, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. Students in the MSSD program will have unprecedented access to these unique test skids. In addition, iTrust will also provide students access to the testbeds.
MSSD is aimed at engineers, computer scientists and computer engineers. Students in MSSD will acquire foundational knowledge in cyber security and the required skill-set to analyze and/or create secure systems in a diverse group of organizations.
Candidates entering the MSSD programme will have (a) bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, chemistry or mathematics; (b) sound mathematical background, (c) computer programming skills, and. An MSSD Graduate Committee will determine if a candidate’s degree major and/or working experience meets the admission requirements of MSSD.

The MSSD Graduate Committee will screen all applications. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview with members of the committee.

Recommendations by the committee will be forwarded to the Head of the ISTD pillar who, in concert with Office of the Graduate School, will decide on a final list of applicants to be offered admission into the MSSD program.

Selected candidates will be given a test to assess their programming ability in one of the following programming languages: C/C++, Java, and Python. Applicants unable to pass this test, and who exhibit a strong academic background and/or work experience, will be given an option to go through an intensive course in computer programming before being formally admitted into the MSSD programme. Passing this intensive course will be a pre-requisite to formal entry in the MSSD programme.
SUTD is offering MSSD, a first of its kind in Singapore, to address the growing need for skilled individuals to analyze, design, and implement security solutions for a variety of systems including those found in critical infrastructure such as finance, power, water, and other sectors.

MSSD will commence in September 2020.

The current enrollment is 40 students, including both part-time and full-time students.
Yes, non-Singapore citizens and International are welcome to apply for MSSD.
The MSSD programme is open to both full-time and part-time students. Classes will take place in the evenings on weekday evenings and/or Saturdays.

Full time programme: 3 terms (14 weeks/term) equivalent to 12 months.
Part time: Up to 3 years.

A broad range of electives is being designed to enable students to create their own specialization in cyber security. The electives will include wireless communications, cyber crime, databases, and other subjects of immediate relevance to cyber security.

National Cybersecurity Postgraduate Scholarship (NCPS) and SkillsFuture Study Awards are available for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. More information can be found at the following links.

There are several undergraduate and graduate level programs available in Singapore that focus on cyber security. However, SUTD is the first university in Singapore to offer a Master of Science in Security by Design. Distinctive features of this programme include (a) focus on the design of security solutions, (b) a student-centric pedagogy that uses active learning, flipped classroom, and multidisciplinary projects, (c) access to one of a kind testbeds and test skids for experimentation, and (d) opportunity for international attachment to complete a project or a thesis.
Yes. SUTD is currently working with its international partners in the UK, Netherlands, and USA to create attachment opportunities for MSSD students. An international attachment will enable a student to complete the project/thesis requirement at a partner university during Term 3. Such attachments will usually be 14-weeks in durations. A faculty advisor at SUTD and a co-advisor at the partner institution will advise students who decide to complete their project/thesis abroad.
No. A project/thesis can also be complete at SUTD or at a partner organization in Singapore. In the latter case, the partner organization will be a commercial firm or a Singapore Government agency where a student completes a project in the area of cyber security. In this case a faculty advisor at SUTD and a co-advisor at the partner organization will serve as project advisors.