Shih Koon Chia started Assure IT in response to the evolving cyber security landscape.
What’s your story?
I studied finance at University, served in the SAF for 25 years in diverse roles and particularly enjoyed working on leading edge technology developments and IT security. Assure IT was started to apply the different skills and knowledge acquired in response to the evolving cyber security landscape.
What excites you most about your industry?
The industry is similar to an arms race in that both sides – the good guys and the bad guys are constantly innovating to stay ahead of each other. One has to keep abreast of the evolving technologies and techniques used in order to defend against cyber attacks and to respond effectively when breaches happen. It’s also exciting that everyone plays a part and this is not the exclusive domain of technical experts. For example, the rank and file IT users, with enhanced awareness, can be the last line of defence for organisations when their firewalls and anti-viruses are breached.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore. Despite extended stays in Australia, Europe and the United States for studies and work, Asia has always been home for me. These are exciting times to be in Asia as an entrepreneur, with China and the regional emerging economies presenting opportunities for both new clients and suppliers.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, for the ease of doing business, sound regulatory controls, proper infrastructure and access to the region.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Choose your battles wisely.
Who inspires you?
George Yeo, for his humility, plus very clear and balanced thoughts about East and West politics and ideologies, religion and spiritualism and technology and heritage.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That an Uber helicopter ride in Brazil can cost as little as $26 during the promotion period.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would probably have started my business earlier.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy cycling along the East Coast and Marina Bay areas, without a planned route.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
For relaxation, my family always enjoys Phuket. It’s a short flight away, has many good and affordable restaurants, plus lots of activities for everyone.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Bloomberg by Bloomberg. It’s a fairly old book, first published in 2001, but it’s a book that has influenced the way I work in many ways, both as a manager as well as a business owner.
Shameless plug for your business:
Assure IT was started because we believe that IT Security is a fundamental requirement for all businesses, not just Governments and large corporations. It is with this belief that our team, with many years of experience in policy making, operations and R&D, develops solutions that are accessible to both SMEs and MNCs alike.
How can people connect with you?
Email: [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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