Welcome to Cyberport

32°C / 65°F

A A A
  • Cyberport Facebook Page
  • Cyberport Twitter Page
  • Cyberport LinkedIn Page


Tech News

News feed provided by SMBWorld.

 

26-07-2017
Wide adoption of APIs boost business success in Hong Kong

A majority of surveyed organizations in Hong Kong recognized the importance of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in business growth, where the adoption rate is placed at 92%. This is based on a study by CA Technologies, which covered 1,770 senior business and IT executives worldwide, with 799 from across the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, on how they are capitalizing on APIs to boost their business in the app economy. Hong Kong-based respondents agreed that APIs are having positive impact and lead to better business results across all quantitative KPIs including IT-related cost (42% reduction); partner satisfaction (41% increase); customer satisfaction (38% increase); number of compliance audit failures (37% reduction); transaction volumes (36% increase). More than half of the Hong Kong respondents agreed that they see the APIs improve qualitative KPIs in the following areas — streamlining the supply/demand chain ((64%); improving digital reach (58%); improving customer experience (53%); and improving how a firm leverages third-party innovation ((51%). APIs are crucial to success in the app economy. However, simply using APIs is not enough. Effective management of API life cycle is key to truly reap its benefits from conception to consumption. This full life cycle approach to API management requires a wide and complex range of capabilities. It demands the ability to connect legacy and current systems; rapidly create APIs in order to safely expose data; integrate this with back-end data and legacy apps; protect these integrations with the right levels of security; accelerate mobile development; and unlock the value of the resulting digital ecosystems through analytics and monetization. Also, the study found that 55% of surveyed organizations in APJ are advanced users of API management. These advanced users are much more confident at being able to differentiate themselves from the competition (81%) than basic API management users (50%). “Succeeding in today’s application economy means connecting products to customer needs, customers to experiences, apps to devices, organizations to their eco-system partners,” said Nick Lim, VP of ASEAN and Greater China at CA Technologies. “The study clearly shows that investing in advanced capabilities throughout the full life cycle approach to API management results in the greatest value and success,” said Lim.

View More
26-07-2017
‘Destruction of Service’ attacks seen ahead

Potential “destruction of service” (DeOS) attacks are expected amid the rapid evolution of threats and the increasing magnitude of attacks, according to Cisco. DeOS could eliminate organizations’ backups and safety nets, required to restore systems and data after an attack. Also, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), key industries are bringing more operations online, increasing attack surfaces and the potential scale and impact of these threats. “As recent incidents like WannaCry and Netya illustrate, our adversaries are becoming more and more creative in how they architect their attacks,” said Steve Martino, VP and CISO at Cisco. “While the majority of organizations took steps to improve security following a breach, businesses across industries are in a constant race against the attackers,” said Martino. “Security effectiveness starts with closing the obvious gaps and making security a business priority.” The Internet of Things continues to offer new opportunities for cyber criminals, and its security weaknesses, ripe for exploitation, will play a central role in enabling these campaigns with escalating impact. Recent IoT botnet activity already suggests that some attackers may be laying the foundation for a wide-reaching, high-impact cyber-threat event that could potentially disrupt the Internet itself. Measuring effectiveness of security practices in the face of these attacks is critical. Cisco tracks progress in reducing “time to detection” (TTD), the window of time between a compromise and the detection of a threat. Faster time to detection is critical to constrain attackers’ operational space and minimize damage from intrusions. Since November 2015, Cisco decreased its median TTD from just over 39 hours to about 3.5 hours for the period from November 2016 to May 2017. This figure is based on opt-in telemetry gathered from Cisco security products deployed worldwide. Scott Manson, cyber security leader for Middle East and Turkey at Cisco, said that in order to effectively reduce TTD and limit the impact of an attack, the industry must move to a more integrated, architectural approach that increases visibility and manageability, empowering security teams to close gaps.

View More
25-07-2017
No budget: Half of Asian firms do not have business liability insurance

While most companies (95%) have some form of general business insurance such as accident and property cover, roughly half of the companies surveyed in Asia do not carry any business liability insurance, reveals a new report released by QBE Insurance.Ownership of business liability insurance is 54% in Indonesia and Singapore, 47% in Hong Kong and 45% in Malaysia.This dramatic drop-off in coverage is despite the fact that 63 per cent of all the companies surveyed experienced liability-related incidents within the last year.For important types of business liability insurance, both knowledge and ownership is significantly low. For example, within the four markets, ownership of public and product liability insurance is lowest in Indonesia (16%) and highest in Malaysia and Hong Kong (21%).Ownership of professional indemnity insurance is lowest in Hong Kong (13%) and highest in Singapore (21%). Meanwhile, ownership of  Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance is lowest in Malaysia (8%) and highest in Singapore and Indonesia (16%).“Our research shows that liability risks are among the most unrecognized and under-protected business issues in the region,” said Marcelo Teixeira, Global Head of Bancassurance and Head of Strategic Development, Emerging Markets Division at QBE Insurance Group.“This is very concerning, because it potentially puts businesses, clients and the public at risk, raising issues around social responsibility. Many businesses are also missing out on compensation opportunities.”Companies tend to be reactiveQBE’s research further reveals a trend for companies to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to business risks. Of the companies that had public or third-party liability issues due to accidents or business negligence, 42% invested in business liability cover after an incident occurred.Business liability insurance was purchased afterward by 50% of companies who experienced customer or payment internet fraud.Overall, the IT and Telecommunications industry is the most proactive when it comes to taking protection against risk, and Construction and Engineering firms are the least active.“While it is, perhaps, understandable that many companies tend to react after an incident, we were surprised by how many said they still took no protection action whatsoever,” said Teixeira.On average, 17% of companies across all four markets took no action before or after experiencing a public or third-party liability issue due to a problem with products or services, and 16% took no action after losing income from a business interruption.Liability-related business risks were the most commonly-ignored risks in two out of the four markets, and four out of six industries surveyed.But the risks are realThe fact that businesses take little notice of risks, even after experiencing one, is the most surprising when considering the quantity of risks experienced. More than two thirds (68%) of businesses surveyed in Indonesia and Malaysia experienced liability-related incidents in the past year, as well as 65% of respondents in Singapore, and 51% in Hong Kong.Typical risks experienced included:  22% of companies suffered from legal or regulatory compliance issues; and  15% of companies experienced public or third-party liability risks associated with product and service problems.Measured by industry, Construction and Engineering (71%) and Manufacturing (68%) across all four markets experienced the most liability-related risks. Financial Services suffered the least liability-related incidents at 54%.The most common risk experienced by each sector overall was:Loss of income due to business interruption - Professional and Business Services (28%); and IT and Telecommunications (27%)Legal and regulatory compliance issues - Financial Services (29%)Staff injuries at work - Construction and Engineering (34%); Manufacturing (30%); and Healthcare (26%).Business liability insurance not seen as priorityWhen asked why companies did not own business liability insurance, a third (32%) said they had too little budget for insurance. One quarter (23%) said that they did not own insurance because they are limited companies and believe the financial risk is sufficiently reduced.Around one in five said they had insufficient time to research the various insurance offers (19%) and that insurance policies are too complex (18%). Another 16% of respondents said that having business liability insurance has “never crossed their minds.”“Clearly an educational effort is needed as far too many companies appear unaware of the value of insurance versus the costs that they will incur if they experience an incident. Insurance companies need to make business liability insurance easily understandable and more accessible to all types of companies, large and small. We hope the insurance industry will follow our lead,” said Teixeira.Business protection vital as headwinds continueLooking ahead over the next 12 months, companies in the four markets expect challenging business conditions to continue, with one-third anticipating technology advancement and innovation to affect their business. Some companies (24%) also anticipate greater demand for personalization of products and services.“Given current economic challenges and increasing pressure to invest in new technologies and business models, companies need to be sure they are safeguarding their businesses adequately,” continued Teixeira.“With a rising middle class across Asia, we are seeing a cultural change as employers and employees understand the importance of managing risk – not only to reduce financial loss but, more importantly, because it is the socially responsible thing to do." 

View More
25-07-2017
New trade portal to benefit Vietnam’s SMEs

Vietnam’s small and medium enterprises now have a one-stop shop to get information on import-export regulations and procedures, thanks to the newly-launched Vietnam Trade Information Portal (VTIP).Hosted by the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) under the Ministry of Finance, with support from the World Bank Group in Vietnam, the portal is expected to help improve the predictability and transparency of the country’s trading laws and processes, giving foreign and domestic investors quick access to Vietnam’s trade rules.Having a single portal containing all trade regulations and procedures will save businesses time and operational costs, especially for small and medium enterprises interested or involved in the import, export and transit sectors.Some of VTIP’s other features include: an overview of Vietnam’s economy, business startup process, import and export guide, customs terminology, as well as information on special economic areas, export processing zones, cross-border trade and GSP automation.The website also contains information on international, regional and bi-lateral trade agreements to which Vietnam is a party, including applicable rules and requirements as well as associated benefits; a selection of websites of international organizations or institutions that can bring further support to overseas expansion and tools allowing exporters to perform trade potential analysis, desk research and market surveys.The portal is also expected to improve trade regulations themselves, as legislators are now able to easily identify the complexity of current regulations and procedures when applied to commodities and to suggest areas of modernization and simplification while easily monitoring the progress of such processes.“With the official launch and operation of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal, we hope that business community and other stakeholders will be provided with a useful tool and able to find sufficient and necessary information for the facilitation of import - export activities,” says Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung.The initiative is the latest government effort to increase access to information and to comply with the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.“Trade is an important engine of growth for Vietnam and having fast and easy access to information on import and export procedures is crucial for traders and investors,” said Sebastian Eckardt, the World Bank Acting Country Director for Vietnam.Vietnam has climbed 9 spots to 82 from 91 on the World Bank's Doing Business 2017 ranking, and moved 15 spots up to 93 from 108 for improved border-trade indicators related to import-export operations. VTIP is a major step towards Vietnam’s goal of being one of the top 4 easiest places for doing business in ASEAN by 2020. 

View More
25-07-2017
NukeBot threatens to steal credentials of online banking customers

A new banking Trojan has been detected in the wild. NukeBot is a new malware designed to steal the credentials of online banking customers.Earlier versions of the Trojan were known to the security industry as TinyNuke, but lacked the features necessary to launch attacks. The latest versions however, are fully operable, and contain code to target the users of specific banks.  What makes this malware of concern is the availability of a ready-to-attack version of the Trojan. Attackers may soon initiate a wide-scale malicious campaign, to infect multiple users.How it worksNukeBot is a banking Trojan. Upon infection it “injects” malicious code into the webpage of an online banking service displayed in a victim’s browser and then steals user data, spoofs their credentials, and more.Both Kaspersky Lab researchers and Securelist conclude that most of the available compiled samples are rough, barely operational malware drafts. Securelist says about 2-5% of the Trojan samples it secured were 2-5% combat-grade.Kaspersky Lab concurred that around 5% of all samples were NukeBot’s new ‘combat versions’, which have improved source codes and attacking capacities. Among other things these versions contain injections – specific pieces of code, which mimic parts of user interface of real online banking services. Based on the analysis of injections, Kaspersky Lab experts believe the main targets of the new version of NukeBot are users of several French and US banks.In addition, Kaspersky Lab researchers managed to detect several NukeBot modifications that didn’t have web injection functionality, and were designed to steal mail client and browser passwords. This means that developers of new versions may aim to widen the functionality of this malware family.“In 2016 the number of users attacked with malware targeting financial data increased about 30.55% over the previous year, bringing it to close to 1.1 Million attacks. While most of these attacks were mostly towards regular users, approximately 17.7% of the attacks also targeted corporate users. From our Financial Cyberthreats report for 2016, we found that users in Russia, Germany, Japan, India, Vietnam and the US are the ones most often attacked by banking malware. The trends show us that although professional cybercriminal groups have indeed shifted a lot of their attention to targeted attacks against large companies, regular users and smaller firms are still being targeted” said Sylvia Ng, General Manager, South East Asia at Kaspersky Lab.How to protectKaspersky Lab suggests that financial institutions providing online banking services must make sure they have an effective fraud prevention solution in place, to enable them to quickly and accurately spot unauthorized use of customer accounts and irregular financial activity.For their part, online banking customers must use an Internet security solution with tailored technologies to protect financial transactions like Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Money. They must also regularly run a system scan to check for possible infections.Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

View More
25-07-2017
New skills platform to link Singapore’s SMEs with job seekers

Singapore’s start-ups and small and medium enterprises will now have a dedicated platform that links employers with fresh graduates and job seekers – a resource that many did not have in the past.SiTF, together with the support of SPRING Singapore, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the e2i (Employment and Employability Institute), has launched talentguru, a skills-focused career development platform, powered by the latest big data analytics technology to help address the skills gap and manpower shortage challenges in Singapore’s Infocomm Media (ICM) industry.talentguru is focused on building capacity in the industry by enhancing the pipeline of ICM talent and deepening the pool of local skills. This initiative is backed by a suite of programmes and a strong community of support from the industry as well as SiTF’s network of partners including Government agencies, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), trade associations and training providers.talentguru intends to grow the local pool of ICM skills and talent, by helping four groups of people:· Students – Prepares them to launch their careers with confidence by using insights from data to understand skills requirements for jobs and their desired careers pathways;· Career switchers – Empowers and motivates them to re-skill and reach new career peaks in the ICM industry;· ICM professionals – Enables them to stay competitive and relevant by acquiring new skills, widening professional networks and keeping up to date with industry trends;· Employers – Facilitates more effective hiring processes with a focus on objective assessments based primarily on skills.Skills-Focused Career DevelopmentPowered by JobKred’s proprietary data analytics technology, talentguru allows users to create their own profile of skills and compare themselves against what the industry needs at any given point in time. This allows users to glean useful insights on skills requirements and explore possible career pathways, which is particularly useful for anyone interested in entering the ICM industry for the first time, e.g. students and career switchers.“For some exploring a career in ICM, the rapid pace of change in the industry can result in them feeling lost and insecure,” said Lim Kang Song, Co-Chairman SiTF Talent & Capabilities Committee.“Many ICM students also choose not to pursue a career in the industry after graduation because they feel unprepared. Through some early testing with IHLs, students said that talentguru helped to alleviate some of these concerns by providing a clear picture of the skills they needed to get the jobs they wanted. This is an outcome we hope to replicate with career switchers as well,” said Lim Kang Song, Co-Chairman SiTF Talent & Capabilities Committee.Enhancing the Pipeline of Talent to SMEsAs part of the suite of initiatives supporting the talentguru platform, SiTF is making extra effort to help SMEs and start-ups attract and retain talent. SiTF is working with SPRING to run a structured internship programme to train internship mentors and facilitate the matching of ICM students with quality internships.In recognition of its efforts, SPRING has appointed SiTF as a Partner for SME Talent Programme (STP), to help strengthen the ICM talent pipeline for SMEs and provide meaningful internship opportunities for local students.Deepening SkillsSiTF is also partnering Proxor, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff, to administer a rigorous and certifiable skills assessment for java programming. Proxor’s solution would help test a candidate’s ability to solve real world problems and provide an assessment benchmarked against a global cohort. SiTF hopes that such assessments would gain more industry recognition and help ease the transition for career switchers who have re-skilled to join the ICM industry.Community-BuildingFinally, talentguru will be complemented by a suite of offline events to help build a vibrant and mutually supportive community. Apart from networking sessions, industry talks, and outreach to schools, SiTF and e2i have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to mark a shared commitment to empower local career switchers and displaced PMEs transition smoothly into the ICM industry by collaborating on a series of career fairs and seminars over the next two years.Over the next three years, talentguru seeks to engage 500 companies and 10,000 users, facilitating the placement of 3,000 ICM professionals and 1,000 students. It also hopes to train 300 internship mentors in SMEs.  

View More
25-07-2017
Indian School of Business launches startup incubator

The Indian School of Business (ISB), one of India’s leading business schools has launched DLabs, its startup incubation and acceleration arm. DLabs, which has been set up in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, leverages resources, expertise and networks of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ISB through mentorship, education and investor connect. The setting up of the lab formalises what the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been doing for the last two years.  “We can now provide the physical space of 10,000 square feet for interaction of startups with various stakeholders including investors,” Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB said. In the last two years, ISB has incubated 32 startups and DLabs is expected to further incubation and business acceleration of new ventures. “While there are many incubators across institutions now, the value proposition in our DLabs is its efforts in acceleration and scaling up the venture apart from its incubation.” DLabs will focus on key sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure, smart cities and social- impact ventures.  In view of the importance of incubation for promoting startups, ISB will be launching an advanced management program for incubators managers. “Startup incubation activity is now very popular and there is a need for training for incubator management,” Srivastava said. On the startup ecosystem in the country, the Dean said there was a need to promote ease of business for them in various aspects including filing of returns. Giving an example, he said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will require startups and other business ventures to do about 36 filings a year.  The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE ) at the Indian School of Business(ISB) has run two successful initiatives - ISB-SAP Social Enterprise Jumpstart and ISB Envision - recently to encourage and support entrepreneurs with promising ideas and ventures.  Ten startups accelerated under these two programmes showcased their business ideas and scale up progress on the occasion. They included Ambee, an app based service that aims to help people track the nearest ambulance in real time, PeeBuddy which aims to solve personal hygiene issues faced by women during travel and SADS (Share at door step) to bridge the gap between the NGOs and donors for non-cash donations.  

View More
24-07-2017
Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore’s F2F competition named

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore announced six winners of the Face-to- Face (F2F) Competition segment of the Cybersecurity Challenge Singapore, organized in partnership with BAE Systems. Winners include Chang Si Yuan, Ngo Wei Lin, Chua Tianxiang, Joseph Ho, Daniel Wong and Chandrasekaran Akash. They each win an all-expenses paid trip to the United Kingdom (UK) to pit their cybersecurity skills against UK cybersecurity enthusiasts in the Masterclass Final in November. CSA said the 23 participants in the F2F competition had distinguished themselves with the highest scores from over 770 players who had registered in the first stage of the Challenge – the Singapore Floor of CyPhinx, a virtual three-dimensional (3D) skyscraper which acts as a gateway to different games, ciphers and competitions. Participants were divided into seven teams during the F2F competition and players pitted their skills against each other in a six-hour virtual battle as they devised cybersecurity measures to counter serious cyber breaches. The participants comprised students and mid-career professionals from fields such as consultancy and research and ranged in ages, with the youngest at 17 and the oldest at 41 years of age. Throughout the competition, players were graded by assessors from CSA and BAE Systems as they demonstrated their cybersecurity proficiencies, namely in web application penetration testing, data forensic analysis, vulnerability assessment, incident response, packet analysis, cryptography and coding. “The players demonstrated sound technical and analytical skills as they took on the different challenges,” said Teo Chin Hock, deputy chief executive of CSA. “This augurs well for the industry and we look forward to having more cybersecurity talents come forward to hone their skills at the Challenge, gain industry exposure and at the same time, raise the quantity and quality of our talent pool,” said Teo.

View More
24-07-2017
SK Telecom pushes quantum cryptography

SK Telecom has developed a prototype of an ultra-small quantum random number generator (QRNG) chip packed with entropy source and Deterministic Random Bit Generator (DRBG). A QRNG generates true random numbers without any kind of pattern, meaning that it is ideal for use in cryptography. However, so far, the cost and size of QRNGs currently on market have prevented them from becoming widespread. With the successful development of an ultra-small QRNG chip measuring 5mm by 5mm, SK Telecom expects that it will soon be able to embed QRNG to a wide variety of the Internet of Things (IoT) products, including autonomous vehicles, drones and smart devices, to dramatically enhance the level of security for IoT services. Although the price of each QRNG chip has not been set yet, the company said that it will be the lowest price ever for a QRNG. Meanwhile, SK Telecom is also developing a QRNG in the form of USB and PCIe. While the QRNG chip has to be embedded from the beginning of the product development, QRNG in the form of USB or PCIe can be simply connected to any product already on market to provide genuine randomness. “Understanding the importance of data and data security, SK Telecom has focused on developing quantum cryptography technologies to guarantee secure transmission of data in areas including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and autonomous driving,” said Park Jin-hyo, SVP and head of Network R&D Center of SK Telecom. “We will continue to work with partners, both home and abroad, to accelerate the popularization of quantum cryptography and strengthen our presence in the global market,” said Park.

View More
24-07-2017
US firms dominate top value creators in 2017

American companies again dominate the list of the world’s top value creators, taking seven of the Top 10 spots for global large-cap companies in the 2017 value creators rankings, according to The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). BCG said technology, media, and telecommunications have replaced the pharmaceuticals industry as the primary value-driving sectors in the Top 10. TMT companies hold down seven places on this year’s list while pharma, which claimed four of the top ten slots in 2016 (including the top three) and five in 2015, is absent. The 2017 rankings reflect an analysis of TSR at approximately 2,350 companies worldwide (of which some 30% are US-based) from 2012 through 2016. Since 1999, BCG has published annual rankings of top value creators, measured on the basis of total shareholder return over the previous five-year period. The Top 10 large-cap value creators for the five years 2012 through 2016 delivered an impressive average annual TSR of 41%. By way of comparison, the average annual TSR for the next 10 best companies was a still impressive 29%. The overall average annual TSR for all the companies in this year's value creators database was 16%, well above the long-term average of about 10% for the S&P 500. Among industry sectors, mid-cap pharma ($4 billion to $17 billion in market cap) ranks first in average value creation, as it did last year. Other top-five sectors are consumer durables, automotive components, financial infrastructure providers, and medical technology. “The likelihood of beating the market—especially by a wide margin—year in and year out, is low,” said Gerry Hansell, a BCG senior partner. “For companies in mature industries, the challenge is even greater because growth is such an important driver of long-term TSR.” “That said, companies in mature industries still can drive value creation by improving efficiency, allocating capital prudently, and returning cash to shareholders rather than investing it in low-return growth opportunities,” said Hansell.

View More
24-07-2017
Singapore firms struggle with optimal strategy despite digital push

Digital transformation is reaching a tipping point across Singapore along with the rest of the world, with 42% of businesses in Singapore now deriving more than half their revenue from digital streams. According to a survey by Pure Storage, 46% of businesses across Asia Pacific and Japan were doing to same. The independent survey included IT leaders in more than 9,000 businesses globally, including over 3,000 firms in APJ and 500 in Singapore. Results show that 63% of businesses in Singapore are looking to digital services to drive cost savings and 60% to accelerate innovation. “This transformation will affect all businesses in Singapore and across the region in the coming years, forcing them to reconsider how and when they collect and use data,” said Chua Hock Leng, managing director for ASEAN and Taiwan at Pure Storage. “The advantages once held by the public cloud are no longer its sole domain,” said Chua. “As Singapore continues to pursue its Smart Nation vision, businesses need to understand how to use the entire data ecosystem — cloud and on-premises — in order to put their data to work and mine insights to deliver customer results.” In Singapore, technical complexity is the biggest barrier to digital transformation, with 59% of businesses saying it is preventing them from converting to digital solutions. This is followed by the lack of digital skillsets (42%). On average, businesses in Singapore run 38% of their applications on-premises – higher than public cloud (25%), SaaS (24%), and private cloud (21%), similar to the average statistics across APJ. Also, 32% of companies in Singapore that ran workloads in public cloud environments have moved some or all of those workloads back on-premises. Across APJ, the average is 38%. A significant 67% of businesses in Singapore cited security as the biggest drawback the public cloud, followed by cost savings (33%), and performance (27%). Further, 71% of IT departments in Singapore businesses report that they are losing control of key technology decisions to other colleagues in the company.

View More
24-07-2017
APAC firms struggle to cope with cybersecurity evolution

Close to half (46%) of Asia-Pacific firms are having a difficulty keeping up with rapidly evolving cybersecurity technologies, a survey by Palo Alto Networks shows. The survey covered more than 500 business professionals in APAC, including respondents in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore. The study found that more money does not mean more and better solutions. While two-thirds of firms increased their budgets, antivirus (69%) and firewalls (67%) have the highest take-up rates in the region while far fewer companies have adopted more advanced solutions, such as two-factor authentication (27%), anti-ransomware (25%) and biometrics (22%). Second, there is a need to change the mindset towards cybersecurity. A majority (58%) of firms believe a “detect and respond” approach is more important than prevention, but data breaches continue to prevail. In financial year 2016-17, 52% of organizations have reported a cybersecurity breach, with 30% reporting financial losses of over $100,000 from those breaches. Finally, different markets face different challenges. The APAC markets surveyed were unanimous about employees’ lack of cybersecurity awareness being the topmost challenge. Risk from third-party vendors was the second most prominent concern (36%). With the rapid adoption of digital technologies – especially in developing markets – migration to cloud followed as the third-biggest pain point (31%). In particular, governments displayed a need to be more agile in adapting to technology trends, with updating legacy IT systems being their largest hurdle. “Cyberthreats are not problems you can solve simply by increasing budgets,” said Sean Duca, VP and regional chief security officer for APAC at Palo Alto Networks. “A good approach to cybersecurity requires the buy-in of business leaders and understanding of the threat landscape so they can help design and implement more effective cybersecurity policies in order to prevent breaches,” said Duca. He said that aside from ensuring that networks are adequately secured with a next-generation breach prevention-minded platform approach, organizations must also ensure that employee education is elevated to the top of their cybersecurity agenda.

View More
23-07-2017
China’s shadow banking crackdown needs a bigger stick

For non-bankers, shadow banking leaves this perception of illicit financial services that harms economies if not the financial services industry. The reality is that shadow banking, and the non-banks that offer the service, is a welcome source of diversification of the credit supply from the banking system, and provides healthy competition for banks. At least that is what is stated in the Global Shadow Banking Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Financial Stability Board, the Swiss-based international body that monitors and recommends on the global financial system.In China, the regulator turned the spotlight on shadow banking with the introduction of new measures to tighten regulatory enforcement and cool credit growth in the shadow banking sector. Indeed recent measures by the regulator to contain financial sector risks may yielding some results with Fitch Ratings indicating such efforts could be positive for system-wide stability if maintained over the medium-term.However, it remains to be seen if the authorities stay committed should economic growth slow faster than they are willing to tolerate. The authorities are at least likely to tread carefully, given the potential for policy missteps – such as the possible triggering of a credit crunch.Grace Wu, senior director for financial solutions at FitchRatings noted a heavy reliance on credit to meet GDP targets. The size of wealth management products (WMP) has grown to US$29 trillion at the end of 2016, equivalent to 19% of system deposits.Mid-tier banks bear the highest risk as WMPs now account for close to 50% of their deposits, increasing their liquidity vulnerability.“Tighter enforcement of shadow banking activities and also WMPs in general is more targeted at containing overall financial sector risks,” she added. Zennon Kapron, director of Kapronasia, noted that the shadow banking industry has faced a significant amount of regulatory attention in the last few years as the regulators seek to diminish the currently outsized impact the sub-segment has on the industry as a whole.“Although the shadow banking space is still growing, this regulatory attention and the rise of viable alternatives like P2P lending and regulated Consumer and SME finance may mean that the industry will slow later in 2017 and going into 2018,” he added.He is optimistic that as alternative lending platforms and consumer finance organizations grow, the market will see a certain part of the shadow finance market disappear as these alternative Fintech solutions continue to take market-share. Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

View More
23-07-2017
Financial services to drive fastest IT budget increases says IDC

The annual IDC Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Industry and Company Size predicts that improvements and stability in business confidence across a broad range of vertical industries will drive stronger IT spending growth this year. Leading the charge is the financial services where the analyst predicts IT budgets will grow by more than 5%."The banking industry shows largely positive indicators for spending plans, with key projects focused on Big Data and Analytics (BDA)," said Jessica Goepfert, program director, Customer Insights & Analysis. "Almost all of the major banks around the world have highlighted that their BDA deployments are now a critical part of their competitive strategies. This is particularly the case on the retail banking side as the banks develop their omni-channel strategies, seek to understand and respond to their customers' behavior, and build strategies for excellence in customer experience."Benefiting from this growth in spending will be professional services firms, including cloud service providers, which will increase their IT spending by 6% in 2017. By 2021, IT spending will reach $2.7 trillion, with the largest contributions coming from consumers, banks, manufacturers, and telecommunications providers.Cloud service providers are expected to resume datacenter investment growth in the second half of 2017, after a brief slowdown, and this will drive server and storage spending by professional services firms to almost 9% growth this year. Meanwhile, enterprise buyers are also poised for a server upgrade cycle this year, driving positive growth in spending across vertical industries.Enterprise software spending remains strong, led by professional services (+9%), followed by banking, securities and investment services, retail, and healthcare (all +8%). Total annual software spending will surpass US$600 billion by 2021, with the largest contributions from manufacturing, banking, and professional services.On the IT services side, the strongest growth will come from project-oriented services including application development and IT consulting, with weaker growth in outsourcing and support services. The strongest IT services spending growth this year will be in banking, telecommunications, and professional services, which will each post increases of around 4%.Growth will be stronger in business services (business process outsourcing (BPO) and business consulting), led by healthcare (+8%), banking (+7.5%) and retail (+7%). Total IT and business services spending will be more than US$1 trillion next year, with the largest contributions from banking, discrete manufacturing, and federal/central government. Caption: photo courtesy of iStockphoto

View More
21-07-2017
Australian shoppers favor biometrics over security PIN

More than half of Australians would prefer to use fingerprints, voice or retina scans in place of PINs when making payments and 25% ready for artificial intelligence to do their shopping."Australian shoppers are at the forefront of the global evolution of commerce, providing a big opportunity to merchants and financial services providers to similarly lead their international counterparts in innovation. Over the past few years, we've seen developments that have significantly changed our payment experiences – from Visa payWave to wearables, such as smartwatches and even rings,” said Stephen Karpin, Group Country Manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.According to new research commissioned by Visa, 29% of Australians are ready to use an internet-connected device, like a smart home virtual assistant or connected fridge to make payments on their behalf.Karpin added that: "As the Internet of Things and biometric capabilities become integrated into our everyday experiences, we'll experience a significant shift in how payments are made. In our lifetime, we will see infinitely more choice in how Australians pay, from watches, fridges and mobile phones, to eyes and fingers. And we'll experience personalization that we never thought possible, powered by artificial intelligence.”Visa estimates over three billion of its cards are circulating globally with about 44 million merchants accepting the Visa card as payment. The card company predicts that with the introduction of connected devices and the continued growth of digital commerce, those numbers will expand 30 billion different ways of paying and 400 million physical and digital acceptance points.According to Futurist, Anders Sorman-Nilsson, ease of use will drive consumers to adopt new patment and commerce experiences. “Connected, AI enabled devices ready to pay will only be pervasive if the experience is easy, seamless and secure,” he added.Many of the new payment methods currently using smartphones rely on biometrics for authentication. More than half of respondents surveyed by YouGov (56%) said they are comfortable using their thumbprint, voice or retina for payment. According to the research, the appeal of biometrics is that it is more secure (45%) and the need to not have to remember a pin/password (40%) is driving consumer adoption and readiness.But while consumers are keen to embrace biometric authentication, less than half (39%) of respondents were willing to share their personal information in exchange for convenience in payments.Karpin attributes this hesitation to prevailing privacy concerns. Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

View More
CyberLink Vol.106 June 2017

Cyberport companies bag top 3 awards at Citi HK FinTech Challenge 2017

Read More >
CyberLink Vol.105 May 2017

JUMPSTARTER 2017 offers great platform to early stage start-ups 

Read More >
CyberLink Vol.104 April 2017

Cyberport launches new strategic plan to drive digital tech as an economic driver for Hong Kong  

Read More >