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Tech News

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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24-04-2018
Digital transformation to add US$9b to HK GDP by 2021

IDC Asia-Pacific and Microsoft expect around 60% of Hong Kong's GDP to be derived from digital products or services by 2021

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24-04-2018
Cloud computing is the top transformative technology for HK IT pros

IT professionals are continuing to prioritize investments in cloud computing, an annual survey shows

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24-04-2018
Fujitsu Hong Kong promotes Leo Ng to CEO

Fujitsu Hong Kong has appointed IT industry veteran Leo Ng to the post of CEO

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24-04-2018
Why data analytics initiatives still fail

Strong data analytics is a digital business imperative, and it all begins with smart data governance practices and an emphasis on quality and context

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23-04-2018
Alibaba AI Labs signs first customers for AI + Car

Daimler, Audi and Volvo Labs have all agreed to adopt Alibaba AI Labs' AI + Car solution for automotive products in China

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23-04-2018
Cathay Pacific allows direct bookings via Skyscanner

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Pacific Dragon customers can now book flights directly over the Skyscanner travel search engine

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23-04-2018
10 tips to minimize IoT security vulnerabilities

The Online Trust Alliance has provided 10 suggestions for avoiding common IoT mistakes

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23-04-2018
Cisco axes Spark but elevates and enhances WebEx

Cisco has merged its two collaboration packages Spark and WebEx into a single platform that supports both worlds

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23-04-2018
UNCTAD, Alibaba train Asian entrepreneurs for digital transformation

On 26 March 2018, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Alibaba Business School enrolled the first class of 37 Asian entrepreneurs for the eFounders Initiative at an opening ceremony held on the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou, China.The 11-day course is part of a commitment by Jack Ma, Alibaba Group’s founder and Executive Chairman and UNCTAD Special Adviser, to empower 1,000 entrepreneurs from developing countries in five years.Following a rigorous selection process, the final candidates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will embark on an 11-day intensive course providing first-hand exposure to e-commerce innovations from China and around the world and become eFounders Fellows. The idea is to empower these young entrepreneurs to become catalysts in their home country with the potential to spur the digital transformation of their economies.The launch of the first program for Asian entrepreneurs comes after the success of the inaugural class for 24 African participants last November.Smart partnerships“We want to reach out to youth and include them in the work we do for inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” said Arlette Verploegh, Coordinator for the eFounders Initiative at UNCTAD. “The initiative is about bridging the digital divide for young entrepreneurs and unlocking their potential. It is part of a set of smart partnerships UNCTAD is creating to reach the sustainable development goals.”All participants are founders of their respective start-up companies, ranging from e-commerce, big data, logistics, fintech, payment and tourism.“We are excited to extend this fellowship to entrepreneurs from Asia for the very first time as part of our commitment to empower digital champions and communities around the world,” said Brian A. Wong, Vice President of Alibaba Group, who heads the Global Initiatives program.“Our goal is to inspire entrepreneurs to serve as pioneers for building a more inclusive development model that is not just good for their business, but also good for society by creating platforms that all can participate in and benefit from.”Under the auspices of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the initiative is aligned with the wider call to action to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital economy, and to help bridge the digital divide faced by businesses in emerging markets.Jointly organized by UNCTAD and Alibaba Business School, the eFounders Initiative also supports Alibaba’s mission to help small businesses succeed in their home markets and beyond. It was first announced in 2017 by Jack Ma in his capacity as the UNCTAD Special Adviser for Young Entrepreneurs and Small Business when he, together with Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, visited Africa.E-commerce ecosystemsThe participants of the eFounders Initiative will learn first-hand the transformative impact e-commerce and technology have on society in China and participate in lectures and discussions with local practitioners and executives to identify the lessons that can be applied to their own markets. Topics covered will include e-commerce, payment, logistics, big data and tourism from Alibaba Group and other successful companies in the e-commerce value chain, with sessions touching on digital finance, smart logistics and rural e-commerce development, among others.Upon graduation, participants will officially become Fellows of the eFounders Initiative and make formal commitments on how they will apply the learning from this program, checking in with UNCTAD and Alibaba every three months. UNCTAD and Alibaba Group will also continue to advise on and provide support for the creation of e-commerce ecosystems jointly with other stakeholders. Caption: The first class of 37 entrepreneurs from Asia receiving first-hand exposure to e-commerce innovations as part of the eFounders Initiative organized by Alibaba Group and UNCTAD (Photo: Business Wire)

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23-04-2018
Remote collaboration and virtual training enhances ultrasound care delivery

Royal Philips, a global health technology company, in partnership with Innovative Imaging Technologies (IIT), announced on 27 March 2018 an industry-first integrated tele-ultrasound solution based on Philips' Lumify portable ultrasound system and powered by IIT's Reacts collaborative platform. This innovation connects clinicians around the globe in real time by turning a compatible smart device into an integrated tele-ultrasound solution, combining two-way audio-visual calls with live ultrasound streaming.With this integrated system, clinicians can begin their Reacts session with a face-to-face conversation on their Lumify ultrasound system. Users can switch to the front-facing camera on their smart device to show the position of the probe. They can then share the Lumify ultrasound stream, so both parties are simultaneously viewing the live ultrasound image and probe positioning, while discussing and interacting at the same time. In addition to clinicians seeking virtual guidance, Philips Lumify with Reacts can be a tool for teaching institutions, medical students and residents, emergency medical service providers, disaster relief providers and hospitals with satellite clinics."By combining exceptional mobility and reliability, Philips Lumify with Reacts will open up new doors for the way clinicians collaborate, educate and train," said Randy Hamlin, Point-of-Care Business Leader, Philips. "This all-in-one tele-ultrasound solution will enhance care delivery by bringing even more confidence to ultrasound clinicians and removing longstanding barriers in education, support and training."With the potential to break down barriers in a wide range of care settings, Lumify with Reacts can help advance patient care by bringing experts into an ultrasound exam anywhere in the world:A professor can go on virtual ultrasound rounds with students, helping them learn anatomy and probe positioning quickly and efficiently, unrestricted by location. A doctor can consult a colleague and receive expertise and guidance using live streaming ultrasound. A midwife in a remote location can call upon an obstetrician in a different location to receive perspective and guidance, discussing the ultrasound exam as if they were in the same room. An emergency medical technician in an ambulance can stream the live ultrasound exam and discuss a patient's condition with an emergency department physician, expediting care delivery upon arrival."Reacts' secure, versatile and interactive collaboration platform deployed on technology solutions like Philips Lumify can change education and patient care models and enable a positive disruptive change to healthcare," said Yanick Beaulieu, MD, CEO and founder of IIT. "For years, clinicians in the field have been trying to piece together systems that offer real-time, interactive tele-ultrasound capabilities. Now it has truly arrived."

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23-04-2018
OPINION: Patches, data and patient security

Medical device security is fundamentally about risk identification and reduction

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22-04-2018
Lack of cybersecurity safeguards among Fintech prevalent

Unencumbered by legacy technology and lack of strict oversight by regulations has enabled Fintech companies to build products that consumers find appealing. However, a general lack cybersecurity safeguards among Fintech companies have raised serious concerns around data protection and compliance, especially with the implementation of EU’s GDPR in May 2018. The recent spate of global cyberattacks has also emphasized the need for application security and cloud protection.As these companies access and store more and more sensitive personal data, they are becoming targets by cybercriminals.Fortinet says financial institutions and their Fintech partners must join together to address critical cybersecurity needs in order to forge successful collaborations.“While the majority of banks view these partnerships as necessary, 71% have also expressed concerns with the cyber risks associated with Fintech firms, while 48% cited regulatory risks as deterrence. Fintech companies typically have fewer human and capital resources to spend on security, let alone address other regulation requirements. More specifically, these security concerns especially surround application security and cloud use, which are the most important development inflection points that the market is demanding,” said Cherry Fung, Fortinet Regional Director, Hong Kong, Macau & Mongolia.Large financial institutions and smaller Fintech companies are increasingly leveraging on each other to successfully meet the growing consumer demands in Asia Pacific for greater accessibility and management of their finances.For established firms, such Fintech partnerships will allow for faster innovation, while the value for smaller Fintech firms will come from the revenue, scale, and credibility banks provide. According to market researcher Frost & Sullivan, the Asia Pacific Fintech market is witnessing unprecedented growth, driven primarily by digital payments.Fortinet suggests that banks and Fintech companies to find a way forward that allows for technical innovation and performance without compromising security by focusing in areas such as application security, cloud security, and automated threat intelligence.Application Security: Fintech largely relies on applications that can access users’ financial profiles to perform a variety of real-time transactions. Applications are an increasingly common attack vector, and vulnerable code can be exploited as an entryway into financial networks. Banks and Fintech need to ensure that a robust application security infrastructure is in place to protect user data. This should include a web application firewall enabled with current threat intelligence to identify and mitigate known and unknown threats, as well as detect and patch vulnerabilities.Cloud Security: Many Fintech companies utilize cloud services to provide consistent, scalable performance with lower upfront costs. However, the cloud must be secured differently than a traditional network or data center, and disparate point solutions often amplify data movement while reducing visibility across these distributed environments. Banks and Fintech firms must ensure that the same security standards they apply to their own networks are applied in the cloud. In addition to detection and prevention, this security must also be dynamically adaptable and scalable to ensure that is can grow seamlessly alongside cloud use. Additionally, to secure financial data, firms need to implement internal segmentation, along with cloud access security brokers, to improve data visibility while integrating industry security standards.Automated Threat Intelligence: An integrated defense needs to be enabled with automated threat intelligence to become a holistic system. As banks and Fintech firms enter into partnerships, it will be impossible for IT teams to manually gather and assess all of this threat intelligence in a timely manner. Machine learning will be integral to this process. Cybercriminals are already leveraging automation to make attacks more effective and persistent. Likewise, machine learning and automation integrated into network security tools enable the detection and prevention of attacks in real-time, allowing organization to keep pace with cybercriminals. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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22-04-2018
Indonesia shines as beacon in race for financial inclusion

Across East Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia has made the most progress in bringing its citizens into the formal financial system in the past three years. These recent efforts, accelerated by electronic money, branchless banking and digitization of social benefit transfer, have brought new economic opportunities for millions of Indonesians.The Global Findex (Financial Inclusion Index) database published by the World Bank revealed that 48.9% of the adults in Indonesia now own a bank account, a marked improvement from its 36% of account ownership in 2014 and 20% in 2011.Between 2014 and 2017, Indonesia also saw the biggest account ownership increase of any developing economy in the East Asia and Pacific region.Indonesia also boasts a strong use of accounts for saving, 10% higher than the developing world average with 42% of account owners using a formal financial institution such as a bank or microfinance institution.Digital influence towards financial inclusionWith approximately 60 million unbanked adults in Indonesia using mobile phones today, there is a massive opportunity for a greater penetration for mobile payments and transactions in Indonesia.In Indonesia, 33% of the unbanked cite distance as a key reason for not having an account and 69% of this population segment have their own mobile phone. Among account owners within the local population, 71% make or receive digital payments, up from 62% in 2014.Millions of unbanked Indonesian adults work in the private sector and get paid in cash. As close to 20 million unbanked private wage earners in the country have a mobile phone, it is estimated that digitizing private sector wage payments could reduce its national share of unbanked adults by up to 29%.“The inclusion of unbanked Indonesians has been a top priority for our country in recent years, and we are emboldened by international institutions’ recognition of our progress, raising the bar for our entire region. We are especially proud of our strides in closing the gender gap—today, women are more likely than men to have a bank account in Indonesia. We owe our success in large part to our transition to digital payments and hope that more countries will look to digitization to help citizens escape poverty, reduce social inequality, and help government be more efficient,” Iskandar Simorangkir, deputy Minister of Macroeconomic and Finance Coordination, and chair of the Secretariat of the National Council for Financial Inclusion, Indonesia, commented. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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22-04-2018
Collaboration to build next generation insurance professionals

More insurance CEOs are concerned about the pace of technological change (85%) than leaders in almost any other industry. This was one of the conclusions that came out from the PwC 21st CEO Survey:  Maintaining optimism while grappling with transformational changes. The study cautioned leadership about understanding the talent needed to harness the potential of technology to innovate and disrupt the insurance market.The PwC report “Insurance Banana Skins 2017: A Singapore observation” underscored the risks concerning human talent (ranked #6 in Singapore) as industry managers are now expected to raise the bar in guiding their organization through a climate of change and emerging threats (e.g. cyber risks), which demand fresh thinking and innovative approach.One insurer that is facing the challenge head-on is Prudential Singapore which is collaborating with SkillsFuture Singapore to help its employees acquire the skillsets needed to meet the future demands of the insurance industry.Under the terms of the partnership, employees will have access to the SkillsFuture Series of courses curated for the insurance sector. They will be trained in innovation, entrepreneurship, data analytics, social media and cyber security, among other areas.According to Prudential Singapore CEO, Wilf Blackburn, in 2017 the company invested more than 25,000 hours in training employees in leadership skills, design thinking, innovation and digital skills. The insurer claimed that its internal mobility program and commitment-free part-time education sponsorships have enable employees to build new competencies while on the job and to forge new career paths within the organization.Blackburn commented that investing in capabilities-building for its people is core to the success of Prudential and the insurance industry. “By partnering with SkillsFuture, we are further helping our people to prepare themselves for future roles in the digital economy so they can remain relevant and continue serving the evolving needs of our customers,” he added.As a start, Prudential will enroll 1,000 employees, Financial Consultants and customers in SkillsFuture Advice. At the workshop, they will receive useful information about SkillsFuture and how they can tap on the various resources and tools for their skills upgrading needs and career planning.For employees who are not digitally savvy, the company said it will encourage these to undergo the SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace program where they can pick up foundational digital skills to prepare for the future economy, understand emerging technologies and their impact on work, and interpret and use data. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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22-04-2018
DBS Bank gets top markets for its DX efforts

CFOs across Asia who believe that digital capabilities are important in a banking partner should take a look at Singapore’s DBS Bank.In a new report, digital transformation measurement services Digital Transformation Scores (DTS) says DBS Bank is “ahead of the pack” among financial institutions in Singapore for its strong leadership and digital advocacy.“The bank has been making steady digital hires since 2009 and had given these roles high visibility across all stakeholders, including staff, investors and general media,” says DTS. “OCBC has also been making steady progress with senior data and innovation roles.”“Singaporean banks are actively connecting via social channels and benchmark strongly against other markets,” DTS adds. But they still have some catching up compared with other “progressive banks” in Asia, such as Australia’s ANZ Bank.DTS founder Marcelo Silva says Singaporean banks “have established the operational and cultural hygiene required to operate in a fast-paced and hyper competitive landscape.”“However, during the next wave, these players must stay the course and move from perceptual rewards and ultimately benefit from true innovation: upending existing processes and business models.”DTS benchmarked DBS, OCBC, UOB and Maybank in the study, which are part of a competitor set that includes local players and international brands Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank and HSBC.First published on CFO Innovation Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

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CyberLink Vol.115 March 2018

Check out the key drivers for the new economy at IES 2018

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CyberLink Vol.114 February 2018

Cyberport to launch first offsite Smart-Space in Tsuen Wan

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CyberLink Vol.113 January 2018

Cyberport drives FinTech discussion at Asian Financial Forum 2018 

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