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15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

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23-07-2018
What individuals and healthcare organizations should do about the SingHealth data breach

In light of the recent cyber attack on SingHealth, where personally identifiable information about 1.5 million patients and details of outpatient dispensed medicines for 160,000 of these patients were accessed and copied, we should not just wait for things to happen.SingHealth, IHiS, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Ministry of Health have quickly taken action both on the IT backend as well as informing affected individuals and the general public. But what can individuals and healthcare providers do?Paul Ducklin, senior technologist at Sophos, recommended that individuals should:Keep a careful watch over all your financial statements – bank accounts, payment cards, loans, pension funds, taxation records and so on. Report any suspicious activity immediately. (But please read points 3 and 4 below!) Talk to your financial institutions about locking down account details in order to make it harder for cyber criminals to try to take over your accounts or to apply for services in your name. Be especially suspicious of unsolicited communications that arrive in the wake of this breach offering any sort of help or asking for further details "to assist in the investigation." Social engineers and scammers are experts at preying on people's fears (and their willingness to help) after security incidents of this sort. If you need help or advice on what to do next, don't use contact information, web links or phone numbers that were sent to you online – look for contact information on existing invoices, on printed correspondence you received in the past, or by visiting an organization's office in person.Olli Jarva, managing consultant, Software Integrity Group, Synopsys noted that, when it comes to cybersecurity challenges in the healthcare industry, it is a different environment to defend and secure.From a security standpoint, the healthcare industry shares the same shortcomings as other enterprises, but with some added obstacles:Lack of security resources, financial resources, and expertise, to correct this weakness. Dealing with an extremely heterogeneous environment. While healthcare organizations may standardize on laptops and IT servers, providers also manage multiple devices that are attached to the network. These can include drug infusion pumps, imaging devices like MRI and CT scanners, and treatment software (such as those used to manage implantable pacemakers). Systems in different parts of a healthcare organization may not play well with each other. Like any large organization, a healthcare organization may have multiple business or operational units, and each unit may procure software solutions that best meet their needs, but may not have uniform cybersecurity effectiveness. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) promise to help practitioners and patients by simplifying the sharing of information.Jarva pointed out that, in response to the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force (2017), which came up with 6 recommendations that healthcare organizations should be considering:Define and streamline leadership, governance, and expectations for cyber security in the healthcare industry. Increase the security and resilience of medical devices and health IT. Develop the healthcare workforce capacity necessary to prioritize and ensure cybersecurity awareness and technical capabilities. Increase healthcare industry readiness through improved cybersecurity awareness and education. Identify mechanisms to protect R&D efforts and intellectual property (IP) from attacks or exposure. Improve information sharing of industry threats, risks, and mitigations.Read also:SingHealth victim of largest cyber-attack in Singapore to date  SingHealth cyber-attack: what are the concerns? 

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22-07-2018
Thai cave rescue demonstrates benefits of rapidly deployable Wi-Fi

Disaster preparedness and response have entered a new era, where providing first responders and emergency workers, as well as the public, with internet connectivity has become a critical factor in effective operations, according to Cambium Networks.This was recently demonstrated during the dramatic cave rescue in Thailand, where 12 young boys and their soccer coach were trapped for two weeks, culminating in a rescue operation that captured the attention of the entire world.Thanks to the numerous emergency and military personnel, and volunteer experts, the "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach were rescued."Connectivity is vitally important to first responders, aid agencies, medical services and families when unforeseen events happen," said Rohit Mehra, vice president, network infrastructure, IDC."Wireless connectivity is a proven solution for disaster recovery when it is rapidly deployed and reliable, provides high performance and is immediately interoperable with a diverse set of user devices. The incredible efforts of first responders and emergency workers in Thailand were supported by having access to reliable connectivity and internet access that enabled them to communicate with each other and to get critical information about the boys who were being rescued."In the recent incident in Thailand, wireless connectivity played a critical role in delivering reliable internet service that connected teams at the remote cave entrance, located more than 100km from Bangkok.At the on-site rescue command post, local telecom solutions provider KING IT worked with regional telco 3BB to create a hotspot at the cave entrance with Wi-Fi connectivity provided by Cambium Networks cnPilot e500 outdoor access points."Cambium Networks equipment helped provide Wi-Fi coverage at the cave entrance site during the rescue exercise, and we are very grateful to have contributed connectivity technology to this amazing effort," said Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO of Cambium Networks.The KING IT team established the Wi-Fi network, and it was managed remotely by another KING IT team in Bangkok using the cnMaestro network management system. Two Cambium Networks cnPilot e500 enterprise outdoor network access points were used; one was placed facing the entrance of the cave, while the other access point was placed at the "information tent".Users of the network included Thai Navy Seals, rescue teams and various government agencies, totalling approximately 50 users at the entrance of the cave. The access point at the information tent served approximately 200 users, including the immediate family members of the lost boys, as well as media and administrative personnel.According to Cambium Networks, in such circumstances, emergency teams must establish operations very rapidly. And in today's internet-connected world, that means creating wireless networks that can transmit voice and data information in remote, rugged and dangerous places such as the Tham Luang cave complex where the boys were trapped.Wireless network connectivity delivers a proven ability to make a difference in first responders' ability to coordinate response teams and provide aid to people in need. With deployment of industry-standard Wi-Fi connectivity, emergency personnel can get online quickly, relay vital information to other rescuers, access information from on-line resources that support the response efforts, and keep families and the public connected and informed.Similar to other disaster response applications, the Cambium Networks-powered network at Tham Luang provided emergency workers with communications tools that enabled them to work more quickly and effectively while allowing friends, family and the media to stay informed.Previous examples of similar disaster application of rapidly deployable Wi-Fi include:PTP 650 links were deployed in response to 2017's Hurricane Harvey in Houston leveraged similar cnPilot equipment to deliver data from E911 dispatch services via wireless internet, enabling ongoing delivery of GPS information to fire trucks and ambulances; as a result, first responders had the latest information as soon as they got into their vehicles. ePMP connectivity was deployed to reconnect Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria.Bhatnagar added: "We are thrilled that the soccer team in Thailand is safe and commend the rescuers for their efforts. We are honored to have played a part in the technical solution that assisted the rescue teams by facilitating wireless communications." 

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22-07-2018
SingHealth victim of largest cyberattack in Singapore to date

About 1.5 million patients who visited SingHealth’s specialist outpatient clinics and polyclinics from 1 May 2015 to 4 July 2018 have had their non-medical personal particulars illegally accessed and copied.The data stolen include name, NRIC number, address, gender, race and date of birth. Information on the outpatient dispensed medicines of about 160,000 of these patients was also exfiltrated.SingHealth runs 4 hospitals, 5 specialist centers and 9 polyclinics across the island state.Investigations by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Integrated Health Information System (IHiS) - which manages Singapore's public healthcare institutions’ IT systems - confirmed that this was a deliberate, targeted and well-planned cyberattack - not the work of casual hackers or criminal gangs. According to SingHealth, the records were not tampered with, and no records were amended or deleted. o other patient records - such as diagnosis, test results or doctors’ notes - were breached.The attackers specifically and repeatedly targeted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s personal particulars and information on his outpatient dispensed medicines.On 4 July 2018, IHiS’ database administrators detected unusual activity on one of SingHealth’s IT databases. They acted immediately to halt the activity. IHiS investigated the incident to ascertain the nature of the activity, while putting in place additional cybersecurity precautions.On 10 July 2018, investigations confirmed that it was a cyberattack, and the Ministry of Health (MOH), SingHealth and CSA were informed. It was established that data was exfiltrated from 27 June 2018 to 4 July 2018. SingHealth lodged a police report on 12 Jul 2018. CSA has ascertained that the cyber attackers accessed the SingHealth IT system through an initial breach on a particular front-end workstation. They subsequently managed to obtain privileged account credentials to gain privileged access to the database. Upon discovery, the breach was immediately contained, preventing further illegal exfiltration.  With heightened monitoring, further malicious activities were observed. However, no further illegal exfiltration has been detected since 4 July 2018.All patient records in SingHealth’s IT system remain intact, said SingHealth. "There has been no disruption of healthcare services during the period of the cyberattack, and patient care has not been compromised."IHiS, with CSA’s support, has implemented further measures to tighten the security of SingHealth’s IT systems. These include temporarily imposing internet surfing separation. Additional controls havbe also been placed on workstations and servers, user and systems accounts have been reset, and additional system monitoring controls installed.Similar measures are being put in place for IT systems across the public healthcare sector against this threat. So far, there has been no other evidence of any similar breach in the other public healthcare IT systems in the country.The Singapore government has directed IHiS to conduct a thorough review of the public healthcare system, with support from third-party experts, to improve cyber threat prevention, detection and response. Areas of review will include cybersecurity policies, threat management processes, IT system controls and organisational and staff capabilities. Advisories have been sent to all healthcare institutions, public and private, on the cybersecurity precautions and measures to be taken.The Minister-in-Charge of Cyber Security has established a Committee of Inquiry to conduct an independent external review of this incident.The Singapore authorities are very likely aware of who might be behind the attack, as only a few countries in the world have shown this level of sophistication when it comes to cyberattacks. However, CSA chief executive David Koh said the agency was "not able to reveal more because of operational security reasons.”

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20-07-2018
Collinson brings together loyalty and benefits businesses to deliver smarter customer experiences

Collinson this week announced a rebrand a new look and feel to its visual brand. This announcement follows the consolidation of the global loyalty and benefits firm with the consolidation of its loyalty, travel experiences, insurance and assistance businesses.Towards a single visionThe move sees Collinson uniting its three loyalty brands, which include ICLP, Collinson Latitude and customer engagement platform Welcome Real Time. In addition, travel experience brands and platforms such as Priority Pass and LoungeKey are now also under the Collinson umbrella, as is its full insurance and assistance offerings.Collinson says its new identity will emphasize its single vision to approach clients’ challenges with a unified solution that leverages the talent, products and platforms within the company to deliver smarter experiences, and to help brands acquire, engage and retain choice-rich customers.In the Asia Pacific, Collinson is co-headed by Kevin Goldmintz and Mary English who are jointly responsible for Collinson’s strategy and growth in the region.“The experience economy is a key driver in today’s world. Priority Pass, the original and leading airport experiences program, is one of our signature consumer brands that has been deeply integrated into offerings from many of the world’s leading financial services organizations, airlines and hotels as part of their reward programs and loyalty initiatives,” said Goldmintz.“Our core strength is the scale of our global lounge and lounge alternatives network. With over 1,200 lounges and airport experiences globally, we continue to look for ways to better enhance the airport and travel experience for travelers and our newly joined up business is a key tool to continue this expansion,” he said.“Our clients’ needs are continually changing as their customers’ expectations constantly evolve. We further strengthen our position by bringing our loyalty technologies, expertise and unique customer insights together into one ecosystem, helping our clients to differentiate their proposition and deliver commercial value for their business,” said English.Further reading:Hong Kong retail marketers failing on customer engagementPoor customer experience frustrates Singapore consumersHK brands get good score for trustworthiness but fail to win loyalty Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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20-07-2018
UOB to use Personetics to create more engaging customer experiences

UOB is investing in FinTech firm Personetics to create more engaging customer experiencesUnited Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) said it has invested in and partnered with Israel-based FinTech firm, Personetics, to enhance its artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions for its customers across Southeast Asia.Through Personetics’ cognitive analytic capabilities, UOB will draw deeper insights from its volumes of transaction data to help identify individual transaction patterns that can make the customer experience more engaging. These insights will enable UOB to provide customers with real-time, personalized and insightful guidance to help them improve the way they save and spend and to help them make better financial decisions.The insights gained over time will also be used to encourage and to reinforce behaviors that would enable the customer to achieve their financial goals and to help them avoid potential pitfalls when managing their money. This includes anticipating and prompting the customer when their balance may be insufficient to cover upcoming payments, detecting unusual or suspicious account activity and highlighting opportunities for them to save more or to spend wisely.Dr Dennis Khoo, Head of Regional Digital Bank and Strategic Initiatives, UOB, said that Personetics’ capabilities will accelerate the Bank’s use of AI and enable the Bank to anticipate what customers want and to prompt them to be better at saving and smarter at spending. As a result, UOB will be able to create even more relevant and engaging digital experiences for its customers. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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20-07-2018
81% of HK parents concerned over cyberbullying

The latest Norton Cyber Security Insights Reports showed what’s keeping parents awake at night.

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20-07-2018
Fortinet gains traction in the SD-WAN marketplace

By continually evolving its firewall-native SD-WAN features based on customer feedback, Fortinet provides secure SD-WAN for three distinct use cases

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20-07-2018
OPINION: Are regulations keeping you from using good passwords?

Most companies are using password "best practices" that are out of date and ineffective. Regulations are getting in the way of changing them

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20-07-2018
CUHK may have just revolutionized face authentication

The CUHK’s System Security Lab has developed a new technique that promises to dramatically boost the security of face recognition authentication

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20-07-2018
Regina Miracle adopts Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS

Hong Kong headquartered intimate wear company Regina Miracle International has reduced its IT infrastructure by 70% by adopting software from Nutanix

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20-07-2018
HKMA to launch blockchain-powered trade platform

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority will launch in September a trade finance platform that is based on blockchain’s distributed ledger technology, in a joint initiative with BOC Hong Kong Holdings, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia, ANZ Banking Group and DBS Group.“The next major milestone,” said HKMA deputy chief executive Howard Lee, “is to link up with other trade platforms in other jurisdictions to further facilitate cross-border trades.” The HKMA collaborated with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on a recently concluded trade finance pilot project.The Hong Kong platform “will be one of the largest examples globally of a government-led, cross-bank effort to reform the multi-billion dollar trade finance sector using the distributed ledger technology that underpins digital currencies such as bitcoin,” reckons the Reuters wire agency.It will also be the first full-fledged platform for commercial use. Exporters, importers, banks, logistics companies, customs regulators and other parties can tap it to digitize paper documents and automate processes. The aim is to “reduce risk and increase the financing capability of the banking industry,” said Lee.There is huge demand for trade finance that the current paper-based and manual platforms have been unable to meet. Last year, the Asian Development Bank reported that banks and other financial institutions were unable – or unwilling – to service up to US$1.5 trillion in corporate requests for trade finance.Many other trade finance platforms are in the pilot stage. Seven banks in India are testing India Trade Connect, a blockchain-based trade finance network developed by IT firm Infosys. The Digital Trade Chain project aims to connect trade finance parties in 11 European countries.The Marco Polo project spearheaded by blockchain consortium R3 and trade finance firm TradeIX is collaborating with global banks, credit insurers and logistics companies to test risk mitigation through matching trade data, payables finance and receivables finance in the provision of payment commitments.Other initiatives include the Batavia Platform being developed by IBM and five global banks, HSBC Trade Finance Platform and the ICICI Trade Finance Blockchain Platform. Most of the initiatives focus on digitalization, automation and posting of transactions on electronic ledgers that are hosted by a network of servers around the world, a system that aims to be inhospitable to fraud.Some of the pilot projects are going beyond these basics and exploring smart contracts, in which payments are automatically made if certain conditions are met. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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20-07-2018
CWHK Awards 2018: Predictive analytics in data center management

Schneider Electric delivers cloud-based DCIM with data insights

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20-07-2018
CWHK Awards 2018: IaaS matures among Hong Kong enterprises

HKT supports businesses in dynamic environments

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19-07-2018
Incorporating VR into medical aesthetics

ONLY Aesthetics recently announced that they have incorporated virtual reality (VR) into medical aesthetics.The augmented reality software allows patients to try on assets for size, in real-time and in high definition. Patients can view several size options, with doctors recommending the best to suit their body shape using the technology which can be used for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes.Naturally, consultation plays a pivotal role in shaping patients’ decisions. During this period, patients express desires and find out more about surgical options. Incorporating VR into this process enhances interactivity and user engagement, empowering patients to make the right decisions for themselves.The process involves scanning the full body to generate a 3D image, which is projected in real-time onto a mirror. The customer can then change the size and shape of their body, monitoring the changes in real-time to ensure that they remain proportionate.When doctors simulate possible outcomes of the patients, it creates an opportunity for patients to express their requirement and concerns, and doctors can better educate them on the options in a more realistic and simple way.“This is probably one of the biggest – if not the biggest – change the industry is now going through and that will support the aesthetics field to become not only more accessible but more appreciated by patients as their understanding of it increases,” said Daniel, Head of Marketing at ONLY Group.

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19-07-2018
Cyberport CEO Peter Yan: Accelerate digital tech development

Cyberport’s new CEO Peter Yan shares his vision, key priorities this year, his immediate challenges, and his views on the competition with Science Park

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CyberLink Vol.118 July 2018

Digital Silk Road spotlighted at the Belt and Road Summit

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CyberLink Vol.117 June 2018

Cyberport's Smart-Space 8 in Tsuen Wan is open for online application

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CyberLink Vol.116 May 2018

Message from CEO

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