Graduate School

Executive Master in Cybersecurity Student, Thian Chin Lim, Honored for Professional Excellence

The recipient of the 2021 Master’s Award for Professional Excellence is Thian Chin Lim, a student in the Executive Master in Cybersecurity program in the School of Professional Studies. Lim is currently the Director of the Critical Information Infrastructure in the Division of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore.

Thian Chin LimThe Master’s Award for Professional Excellence recognizes his outstanding work on his Critical Challenge Project, which led to the development of a new method to assess cybersecurity resilience and his national leadership in Singapore for their cybersecurity strategy. 

Lim’s Critical Challenge Project analyzed how organizations currently measure their ability to prevent and/or respond to cybersecurity threats. This is an extremely important assessment for a company to determine what steps they may need to take in order to be prepared for attacks. Lim identified key areas where current practices may fail and went on to develop a new system for evaluating current levels of protection, called the Cybersecurity Resilience Index (CRI).

The CRI offers three areas of assessment: the cyber threat profile, preparedness, and readiness. Lim designed measurements for each dimension and described how data should be

gathered, validated, and summarized. His new system was received favorably and will be rolled out across Singapore’s government and business sectors in support of that nation’s cybersecurity strategy.

Lim’s contribution through his Project research will be instrumental in future work throughout the government and private sectors in Singapore as organizations address current and future cybersecurity challenges.

Alan M. Usas, Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and a faculty advisor on Lim’s Critical Challenge Project, praises him for his ability to simultaneously lead Singapore through international cybersecurity threats during a global pandemic, while also demonstrating outstanding academic performance in his Brown studies. 

Due to the virtual nature of the program's residential sessions during the pandemic, Lim attended classes in the middle of the night from Singapore for three of the program's virtual residential sessions--intense weeks of coursework involving group projects, lectures, and guest speakers. Program Director and Associate Professor, Ernesto R. Zaldivar, shares that “Lim remained an enthusiastic participant in classes despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and always contributed unique insights that elevated the conversation.” 

Lim reflects on the past year of his program and professional work, “there is never a dull moment in cybersecurity. As soon as I submitted my last assignment, I instantly rejoined my division with 110% attention towards the fight against some of the most pressing cyber issues. There was no time to reminisce, to rejoice or to even to celebrate. The cyber threat landscape had shifted significantly after a series of supply chain attacks on SolarWinds, Microsoft and other tech companies. My division put our noses to the grindstones to operationalize a series of programmes and initiatives to heighten the cyber resiliency and preparedness in Singapore against the growing cyber threats.” 

Lim shares that he is “deeply honored and thrilled to be a recipient of this award. Coping with work, family, social life and an Executive program in tandem is a gritty experience. Support from my family, team and bosses has been both phenomenal and instrumental. I would like to give a shout-out of gratitude to them for making my learning journey with Brown a smooth sailing and enriching experience.”

Learn more about the Master’s awards winners in the categories of academic achievement and engaged citizenship.

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program is now an ScM degree and will feature opportunities for independent study and contributions to the cybersecurity community through projects similar to Lim's and those of other program alumni. The program is currently accepting applications.