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In a country prone to natural disasters, such as super typhoons, earthquakes, and landslides, researchers are leveraging technology to mitigate the impact of these inevitable incidents. Cutting-edge technologies aimed at disaster preparedness empower authorities and institutions to utilise advancements for natural hazard monitoring and support mitigation efforts, enhancing disaster risk reduction management.

Various technologies empower authorities to understand, assess, and mitigate risks, enabling science-based solutions for disaster risk reduction management. Geo-SAFER serves as a pivotal risk reduction enabler, providing Context-sensitive Online Mapping Services for Development Planning and Resource Management.

This technology aids in identifying key geo-hazard areas vulnerable during heavy downpours, facilitating informed decision-making for effective disaster preparedness and response. Leveraging Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) technologies, Geo-SAFER processes and validates geohazard data to generate flood hazard impact assessment maps and statistics at municipal and barangay levels.

The Remote Sensing and Data Science (DATOS) Help Desk is dedicated to delivering and disseminating pertinent disaster information to agencies and key stakeholders, complementing existing government initiatives. Leveraging Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other Data Science techniques, DATOS integrates past and ongoing DOST-supported projects to produce outputs like flood maps. These resources enable LGUs, policymakers, and stakeholders to assess hazards and actual impacts of severe weather events, enhancing preparedness and response measures.

Facing an average of 20 storms annually, the Philippines stands to gain significant support from a fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in disaster risk mitigation and environmental monitoring. These medium-range, fixed-wing UAVs with short take-off and landing capabilities offer rapid assessment of disaster-affected regions.

Locally fabricated and equipped with modular flight controllers, customisable communication systems, and multi-sensor payload capabilities, these UAVs provide flexibility for disaster risk managers to tailor their operations according to specific needs, facilitating access to hard-to-reach disaster areas. Additionally, the UAV Research and Development Program fosters the growth of the local aerospace industry, enhancing the country’s technological capabilities.

During the inaugural Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Expo 2023, DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., stressed the necessity of integrating science, technology, and innovation into disaster risk reduction efforts, highlighting the role of these advancements in mitigating the impact of natural hazards and empowering communities to effectively respond to emergencies.

Image credits: GeoRisk Philippines, Facebook

Among the featured initiatives was the GeoRisk Philippines initiative spearheaded by DOST’s Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS). This multifaceted agency presented technologies such as PlanSmart PH and the Seismic Activity Monitoring System, which play crucial roles in early warning and monitoring systems for disaster preparedness.

The GeoriskPH training course, initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), aims to empower local governments with the understanding and utilisation of GeoMapperPH in constructing their geodatabase. Topics covered during the intensive training included Earthquake and Volcanic Hazards, Disaster Preparedness, GeoMapperPH, HasardHunterPH, GeoAnalytics PH and GAPH Pro.

DOST-PHIVOLCS collaborated with partners in Region 10 to enhance resilience against volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis by utilising GeoRisk Philippines, enabling proactive measures and preparedness efforts in the face of natural hazards. In collaboration with DOST 10, the Institute conducted a two-day training course for Local Government Units (LGUs) in Northern Mindanao on February 27-28, 2024, to enhance their preparedness and response capabilities.

Similarly, a three-day capacity-building session using GeoriskPH platforms equipped 144 disaster responders from various towns in Pangasinan with essential skills. Led by the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD)-Region 1, the training involved Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (LDRRMO) officers and local planning and development officers (LPDOs) from 44 municipalities and four cities in the province.

Since 2023, Indonesia has begun discussing the landscape of smart cities to be developed in the coming years. In this context, collaboration is vital in developing smart cities in Indonesia. With collaboration between the government, private sector, and society, smart cities can become more effective and sustainable. This collaboration can cover various fields, from information and communication technology to transportation and the environment.

The School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Bandung Institute of Technology (STEI ITB), is involved in developing smart cities in Indonesia through various research and innovations conducted by students and lecturers. This year, based on the OpenGov Asia previous report, the Smart City and Community Innovation Centre at the Bandung Institute of Technology (SCCIC ITB), in collaboration with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (ICESCO) – an organisation founded by 57 Muslim-majority countries in 1979 – has embarked on an event aimed at propelling the digital transformation and circular economy to new heights.

ITB continues to actively participate in the sustainability of implementing this Smart City. Through a recent seminar titled “Milestones Shaping AI: Ethical Considerations and AI in Smart Cities & Innovation” at the Science and Techno Park (STP) ITB, this educational institution has proven its commitment to promoting digital transformation and sustainable economics. In the seminar, ITB discussed ethical issues surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and its application in smart cities and innovation.

The seminar was attended by experts and practitioners in the field of AI, including the Director of AI Development at Search Engine company, Alexander Krainov; VP Strategy at Search Engine company, Alexander Popovskiy; ITB Lecturer and SCCIC Researcher, Dr Fadhil Hidayat, ST, MT; and Director of Application Control, Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo), Teguh Arifiadi, SH, MH. The speakers discussed various essential aspects of the development and application of AI, especially in Indonesia.

Dr Fadhil Hidayat explained that generative AI is currently the latest trend in AI, and the Search Engine company has successfully implemented this technology in Russia. This success inspires the Indonesian nation to create similar developments in artificial intelligence in the homeland.

In the seminar, one of the speakers emphasised the importance of a deeper understanding of AI, not only as users but also as developers of the technology. This aligns with the challenges faced in applying AI, such as ethical issues and regulations.

Ethical considerations in the development and use of AI include principles and values that must be considered to ensure this technology’s responsible and safe use. This is important to ensure that AI does not harm its users.

Teguh Arifiadi, SH, MH, also provided insights regarding AI regulations in Indonesia and the challenges that must be addressed. Responsible and ethical AI development is crucial, including data privacy protection.

Dr Fadhil Hidayat also shared insights on the application of AI in smart cities, where this technology can be used to improve the quality of life for communities. Its application is sometimes complex but can start with simple things that can positively impact communities in smart cities. “AI-based services don’t have to be autonomous. For example, the scheduling is already AI-based when going to the hospital. When riding in a vehicle, the mirror is AI-based to see if we are sleepy. So, it doesn’t have to intervene with the steering wheel, but provide simple yet impactful responses,” he said.

Similarly, he said that the application of AI in city services can start with simple things but significantly impact smart city services.

However, this is not without risks, costs incurred, regulations, and cities’ readiness to operate sophisticated systems. “Another risk is that AI can give wrong responses. These are challenges. Therefore, we need to measure AI,” he said.

He envisions there will be follow-ups from the seminar. “Our target, of course, is to master this technology and have our products to make Indonesia smarter,” he said.

The application of AI in city services can also start with simple yet impactful steps towards the progress of innovative city services. However, the sustainability of AI implementation in the future will depend on various factors, such as the associated risks, costs to be incurred, applicable regulations, and the readiness of cities to operate advanced AI systems.

One of the risks that must be faced is the possibility of AI giving wrong responses, which can be a severe challenge to its implementation. Therefore, we need to be able to measure and manage these risks well when applying AI technology. “The goal is for Indonesia to master AI technology and develop local products that can enhance the smart cities in Indonesia,” Dr Fadhil concluded.

In New Zealand, the emphasis on cloud-based infrastructure is substantial, with a plethora of initiatives and partnerships aimed at propelling digital transformation and enriching cloud services for businesses and organisations. This strategic shift towards cloud-based infrastructure is being harnessed across diverse sectors to bolster operational efficiency, fortify cybersecurity measures, and augment accessibility to digital resources.

As organisations in New Zealand continue to modernise their systems and migrate to cloud-based infrastructure, cybersecurity emerges as a paramount concern. One of the critical aspects of cybersecurity in this context is ensuring the protection of data stored and transmitted through cloud services.

The recent advisory issued by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC UK) concerning APT29, underscores cyber threats’ dynamic and ever-evolving landscape. This advisory serves as a poignant reminder of the criticality of remaining vigilant, informed, and prepared in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber adversaries.

NCSC UK and international partners have assessed APT29 as a cyber espionage group. This attribution is supported by agencies such as the US National Security Agency (NSA), the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the US Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ASD’s ACSC), the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), and NCSC NZ. These organisations agree with the details in the advisory, emphasising the need for a coordinated international response to cyber threats.

One of the critical aspects highlighted in the advisory is the adaptation of APT29 to target organisations transitioning to cloud-based infrastructure. This highlights the importance of understanding threat actors’ specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) in the cloud environment. One tactic observed is the exploitation of service and dormant accounts.

APT29 has used brute force and password-spraying techniques to access these accounts, which are often highly privileged and used to manage applications and services. Organisations can mitigate this risk by enforcing strong password policies, implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA), and regularly auditing and deactivating dormant accounts.

Another tactic employed by APT29 is the use of cloud-based token authentication. Threat actors can bypass traditional authentication methods by using tokens to access accounts without needing a password.

Organisations can protect against this by adjusting token validity times and implementing strong MFA policies. Enrolling new devices on the cloud is another avenue exploited by APT29. By registering their device as a new device on the cloud tenant, threat actors can gain unauthorised access to the network. Organisations can defend against this by configuring network policies to validate devices before granting access.

To evade detection, APT29 has also utilised residential proxies to hide their true IP addresses. This underscores the importance of comprehensive logging and monitoring to detect and respond to suspicious activity. Implementing network defences that consider a variety of information sources can help mitigate this risk.

The guidance in the advisory serves as a reminder of the importance of a strong cybersecurity posture, mainly as organisations increasingly rely on cloud infrastructure. Remaining informed about the latest cybersecurity trends and threats is imperative for organisations to identify and address vulnerabilities in their systems proactively. This knowledge empowers them to implement necessary security measures and mitigations effectively.

Moreover, collaboration with cybersecurity experts and sharing information with other organisations can significantly enhance overall cybersecurity posture, as collective insights and experiences can inform better defence strategies. By staying vigilant and implementing the recommended mitigations, organisations can substantially improve their ability to protect their networks and data from cyber threats. This approach is crucial in the face of evolving cyber risks and threats.

It is critical that New Zealand, like any other country, continuously adapts and improves its cybersecurity practices to protect its data and systems in the digital age effectively. Only through ongoing efforts and collaboration can organisations and countries effectively mitigate cyber risks and ensure a secure digital environment.

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia continues to adopt the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology as part of its efforts to enhance competitiveness and efficiency across various sectors. Deputy Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Nezar Patria, has emphasised that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has adjusted the pace of AI usage by referring to regulations or draft regulations applied in developed countries.

Image credits: kominfo.go.id

These steps are aimed at ensuring that the implementation of AI technology in Indonesia not only follows international standards but also supports sustainable local innovation. “We always monitor the development of AI regulations worldwide. For example, in the United States, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on the regulation of AI,” he explained.

In light of this, Deputy Minister Nezar Patria said that Indonesia has identified four countries as benchmarks in the development of AI governance in Indonesia. The United States is one of the reference countries with the implementation of the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI in 2023. The measures taken by the United States in AI regulation serve as inspiration for Indonesia to develop a similar framework to ensure safe, reliable, and responsible development and use of AI.

In addition to the United States, the European Union also serves as an important reference for Indonesia through the European Union AI Act. This EU initiative emphasises the importance of comprehensive regulations to govern the development and use of AI in line with the values and principles desired by the European community.

China also serves as a reference country for the development of AI governance in Indonesia through the Interim Measures for the Management of Generative AI Services. China’s measures in regulating generative AI services provide insights for Indonesia in developing regulations that consider the security and ethics aspects of using generative AI technology.

Finally, Brazil is also a country that is used as a reference for the development of AI governance in Indonesia through the draft regulation of AI Bill No.2238 on the use of AI. Brazil’s steps in preparing AI regulations demonstrate its commitment to regulating the development and use of AI for the benefit of society and the country.

Deputy Minister Nezar Patria explained that Indonesia has issued Minister of Communication and Information Technology Circular Letter No. 9 of 2023 on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, which is a soft regulation but has sufficient legal force to serve as an initial guide for the AI development ecosystem in Indonesia. This regulation aims to ensure that the development and use of AI in Indonesia adhere to the established ethical values.

In the context of AI development implementation, developed and developing countries have two main approaches, namely Principle-Based and Rule-Based. The Principle-Based approach, as adopted by the European Union, emphasises the importance of compliance with established principles and ethical values without focusing too much on the development process. On the other hand, the Rule-Based approach, which the United States and China more commonly use, emphasises the regulation of AI development processes.

Nezar Patria believes that soft regulations such as the AI Ethics Circular, supported by references from developed countries, can help reduce the risk of AI misuse, especially in the context of the potential negative impacts of Generative AI use, such as discrimination, hallucination and the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

Recognising the importance of this issue, Nezar Patria cited a report released in January 2024, stating that AI-generated misinformation and Disinformation are among the top five issues most feared by around 1,400 CEOs worldwide. Therefore, Nezar Patria emphasises the importance of AI governance in avoiding disinformation and misinformation and ensuring that the development and use of AI in Indonesia are conducted ethically and responsibly.

The Ministry of Health in Vietnam is undergoing a significant digital transformation, recognising the irreversible trend that technology integration holds in healthcare. Associate Professor Dr Phan Le Thu Hang, Deputy Director of the Department of Financial Planning, asserts that the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the implementation of smart medical solutions are pivotal in elevating Vietnam’s health coverage, service quality, and management of medical costs, which have long been daunting challenges for healthcare systems globally.

With a focus on leveraging information technology and digital transformation, Vietnam’s healthcare sector is poised to enhance grassroots healthcare delivery significantly. This strategic initiative involves comprehensive upgrades to healthcare infrastructure, intensive training programs for medical personnel, and the refinement of pertinent healthcare policies to align with the evolving digital landscape.

The Prime Minister has approved a Master Plan for the Healthcare Network from 2021 to 2030, with a vision extending to 2050, aiming to establish comprehensive healthcare systems at regional, inter-provincial, and inter-sectoral levels. The plan encompasses various healthcare services, including medical treatment, rehabilitation, preventive health, and pharmaceutical testing.

The plan envisions modern healthcare facilities meeting international standards, fostering the domestic pharmaceutical industry, and achieving ratios of 45 hospital beds, 35 doctors, 4.5 pharmacists, and 90 nurses per 10,000 people, with 25% of hospital beds under private management.

Healthcare in Vietnam is increasingly turning to cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to elevate patient care outcomes. Embracing AI’s potential, the sector is actively exploring its applications in research and clinical practice, leveraging technologies like text mining and machine learning to analyse medical data and enhance decision-making.

Robotics, too, is being deployed across various healthcare tasks, from elderly care to surgical interventions, with robotic surgery emerging as a minimally invasive option to improve outcomes and patient experiences. While AI adoption in emergency and trauma settings is in its nascent stages, there’s growing interest in its potential benefits, though challenges such as research and training programs remain.

Vietnam currently boasts an extensive network of approximately 11,400 communal-level medical facilities, playing a vital role in easing the burden on higher-tier hospitals and improving access to healthcare services for citizens across the country. These facilities serve as essential pillars in the nation’s healthcare ecosystem, ensuring that healthcare services are accessible to all, particularly in remote and underserved regions.

Aligning with a directive from the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, the Ministry of Health is intensifying efforts to consolidate, refine, and elevate the quality of grassroots healthcare services in response to changing dynamics and emerging challenges. This directive underscores the imperative for proactive measures and innovative approaches at all levels of governance to address the evolving healthcare needs of the population effectively.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health is collaborating closely with various ministries, agencies, and local authorities to strengthen the policy framework and implement core strategies aimed at promoting the sustainable development of grassroots healthcare workers. This collaborative approach emphasises the importance of cross-sectoral coordination and knowledge sharing to drive meaningful progress in healthcare delivery and outcomes.

In parallel, there is a growing emphasis on mobilising non-public healthcare participation in primary healthcare services, necessitating a harmonious blend of governance, technology, and financial strategies. This multifaceted approach aims to foster a conducive environment for private sector engagement while ensuring equitable access to high-quality healthcare services for all segments of the population.

As Vietnam continues its journey towards digital transformation in healthcare, the integration of innovative technologies and the adoption of best practices will be critical in realising the vision of a robust, resilient, and inclusive healthcare system that meets the evolving needs of its citizens in the digital age.

The rapid adoption of technology in smart education brings significant advancements but also raises cybersecurity concerns as educational institutions transition to digital platforms. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in virtual learning environments, posing risks such as denial-of-service attacks, advanced malware, and phishing attempts.

Smart education in the Philippines faces hurdles like deficient infrastructure and limited resources, while also contending with risks such as data breaches and cyberbullying as educational institutions transition to digital platforms. These challenges underscore the need for comprehensive strategies to address both technological and security concerns in the evolving landscape of education.

Cyber threats pose significant risks to an institution’s intellectual capital, financial resources, reputation, and operational continuity. Additionally, they endanger the privacy, security, and well-being of students, teachers, and staff.

As a case in point, in 2021, the University of the Philippines (UP) disclosed a data breach that exposed the personal information of students, teachers, staff, and alumni, with hackers claiming access since 2018. The breach, coordinated by a local hacker group, exposed vulnerabilities in UP’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

Furthermore, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) documented around 3,000 “high-level cyberattacks” from 2020 to 2022, with almost half targeting government agencies, emergency response teams, and educational institutions. This period also witnessed the observation of 54,000 cyber threats, highlighting the increasing cybersecurity concerns faced by various sectors in the country.

Amid the challenges faced by the education sector, AI emerges as a crucial strategy, providing vital tools to navigate the dynamic cybersecurity landscape. AI solutions offer adaptive capabilities essential for countering the evolving spectrum of cyber threats in educational environments.

The integration of AI in the education sector’s cybersecurity framework offers a paradigm shift in addressing evolving cyber threats. Its capacity to continuously analyse and adapt to emerging attack vectors offers a dynamic defence against potential risks.

Through machine learning algorithms, AI can detect real-time patterns and anomalies, enabling educational institutions to stay ahead of cyber threats, creating a robust and adaptable cybersecurity infrastructure.

Furthermore, leveraging AI in education cybersecurity not only enhances threat detection but also empowers institutions to establish proactive measures. This approach fosters a secure digital learning ecosystem tailored to the specific challenges of educational environments. It allows for a comprehensive defence strategy that goes beyond traditional cybersecurity methods, offering a forward-looking and efficient solution to safeguard sensitive data and ensure a secure online learning environment for students and staff alike.

By integrating physical hardware and cloud-based solutions, institutions can achieve a more comprehensive and efficient security posture for their assets and data. This unified approach facilitates cost-effective resource allocation, shared threat intelligence, and real-time monitoring and enhances scalability and flexibility.

The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 27 February 2024 at Shangri-La the Fort Manila, explored the intricacies of the cybersecurity landscape within the education sector. This session allowed experts to engage in discussions, gain ideas, and explore solutions provided by Gen AI to tackle the issues.

Opening Remarks

Mohit Sagar∶ In the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, collaboration is crucial to share threat intelligence, best practices and resources effectively

Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia, acknowledges the dawn of a new digital education era, marked by transformative technologies. This shift brings about increased accessibility, engagement, and personalisation, as instant access to extensive information libraries breaks down traditional knowledge barriers, empowering educators and learners alike.

He stresses the importance of tailored learning through adaptive technologies, enhancing education to meet individual student needs and fostering dynamic skill development. This transformation extends beyond traditional classrooms and is particularly evident in the realm of remote learning, which is increasingly prevalent today.

Digital technologies play a multifaceted role in education, addressing not only student achievement but also various challenges involving multiple stakeholders. Interconnected factors influence the impact of these technologies on education, underscoring their pivotal role in driving ongoing digital transformation efforts.

“Even though digital technologies have brought revolutionary changes to education, it is crucial to approach and resolve persistent issues thoughtfully and strategically for a holistic and sustainable transformation,” Mohit believes.

Moreover, the expansion of digital technology and increased dependence on online platforms for administrative and instructional tasks have heightened the education sector’s vulnerability to the growing threats in the digital landscape.

Ransomware attacks, data breaches, and disruptions to online learning platforms are among the cyber threats that can jeopardise learning outcomes, compromise student data, and undermine fiscal integrity within educational institutions.

“We need solutions to address this challenge,” Mohit says. “We must urgently explore and implement robust strategies and technologies to safeguard educational institutions against cyber threats.”

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) represents a revolutionary approach to bolstering defences against cyber threats. By harnessing advanced algorithms, it offers a paradigm shift in cybersecurity, allowing educational institutions to anticipate and counter emerging threats in real-time, thereby fortifying their digital resilience.

In the rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape, collaboration among government agencies, cybersecurity professionals, and educational institutions is paramount to effectively anticipate and address emerging risks. With threats constantly growing in sophistication, a unified approach is essential for sharing threat intelligence, implementing proactive security measures, and leveraging best practices and resources to stay ahead of bad actors.

Government agencies can play a pivotal role in creating a regulatory framework that fosters information sharing and ensures compliance with cybersecurity standards across educational institutions. Cybersecurity professionals, equipped with their expertise, can contribute by developing and implementing robust security protocols. Simultaneously, educational institutions can actively engage in this collaborative effort by fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness and preparedness among students, faculty, and staff.

“This collective approach can create a resilient defence against cyber threats, ultimately safeguarding the integrity of educational systems and the privacy of sensitive information,” Mohit concluded. “By implementing an end-to-end security strategy, educational establishments not only safeguard their digital resources but also establish a dependable and robust environment that promotes a secure and comfortable learning environment for all.”

Welcome Address 

Vincent Wu∶ Generative AI helps the education sector to be more proactive in facing increasingly complex cybersecurity threats

Vincent Wu, Security Business Development Manager, Asia Pacific at Lenovo, expressed deep appreciation to the attendees who gathered at the OpenGov Breakfast Insight to gain insights into cybersecurity in the education sector. He highlighted the significance of their presence as a positive step towards better understanding the cybersecurity challenges educational institutions face.

In the current online or hybrid education landscape, Vincent emphasised the need for heightened awareness of cybersecurity risks among educators, students, and administrative staff. “Students, faculty, and staff in remote/hybrid learning environments are at heightened risk for phishing scams and other unsafe online behaviour,” he addressed.

To address these challenges, Vincent outlined key steps educational institutions can take before integrating technology into their education systems. First, he emphasised the importance of investing in cybersecurity training for educators and administrative staff to enhance their cybersecurity literacy. Additionally, he recommended the implementation of cutting-edge security technologies, including advanced threat detection systems and adaptive preventive measures, such as Generative AI.

“Generative AI helps the education sector to be more proactive in facing increasingly complex cybersecurity threats,” Vincent Wu explained. He elaborated that this technology can automatically identify unusual patterns and potential threats, enabling faster and more effective responses to attacks. By implementing Generative AI, educational institutions can leverage artificial intelligence to optimise their security defences.

In this context, Vincent emphasised and appreciated the significant steps taken by the Philippines in managing cybersecurity risks by adopting Generative AI technology. He stated that Generative AI is an effective tool in maintaining the integrity and security of data in the education sector.

“The proactive approach of the Philippines in integrating Generative AI aligns with the global necessity for innovative solutions to combat the evolving landscape of cyber threats,” he expressed. As educational institutions increasingly become prime targets for cyberattacks due to the wealth of sensitive information they hold, the strategic adoption of cutting-edge technologies like Generative AI becomes paramount.

Vincent commended the Philippines for setting a commendable example in prioritising cybersecurity measures beyond conventional approaches, contributing significantly to the resilience and safeguarding of the education sector.

Vincent Wu delved into the technological landscape, shedding light on Lenovo Commercial Vantage as a pivotal tool in device management. This innovative platform offers users a central portal for efficiently managing hardware settings and setting preferences and serves as a valuable resource for staying updated on system enhancements.

Further, Vincent emphasised the significance of Lenovo DaaS Managed Absolute in providing end-to-end device management with utmost efficiency and flexibility. This approach ensures a streamlined and comprehensive strategy for handling devices across educational institutions, contributing to a seamless and secure digital learning environment.

Vincent stressed that the demand for hybrid learning technology remains paramount even as more students return to on-campus learning. He predicted a surge in the widespread adoption of collaboration software. He foresees its continued prominence as faculty, students, and staff navigate the evolving landscape of the borderless campus of the future. This shift toward collaborative tools necessitates a mature and robust security infrastructure to safeguard sensitive information and ensure the seamless flow of communication in the digital education ecosystem.

“I believe by doing it, the education sector can proactively shape a resilient and future-ready learning environment that leverages technology for enhanced collaboration and knowledge dissemination,” he concluded.

Technology Insight

Sharon Maraguinot∶ Lenovo is committed to continuous improvement and adaptation, ensuring its technology remains at the forefront of cybersecurity resilience

As a leading technology company specialising in designing, manufacturing, and marketing a diverse range of consumer electronics, personal computers, software, business solutions, and related services, it has actively adapted to the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity. In a rapidly evolving technological environment, the significance of cybersecurity has become increasingly pronounced, and Lenovo has been at the forefront of addressing these challenges.

Sharon Maraguinot, who served as a Key Account Manager for Education and Government at Lenovo, highlighted the company’s commitment to staying abreast of the latest developments in cybersecurity. As education sectors are often prime targets for cyber threats due to the sensitive nature of the data they handle, Lenovo recognises the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures.

Maraguinot emphasised that Lenovo’s approach involves providing cutting-edge technology solutions and actively engaging stakeholders to promote cybersecurity awareness and best practices. Lenovo has implemented comprehensive strategies, integrating advanced technologies and innovative solutions. This includes leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to enhance threat detection capabilities, ensuring a proactive defence against evolving cyber threats.

The Lenovo EDU integrates hardware, software, and services to offer a holistic learning experience. “We meticulously design our array of Lenovo EDU devices to endure accidental knocks, drops, and spills, ensuring durability in the classroom environment,” she elaborated.

Additionally, the keyboards are securely anchored to withstand attempts by curious students to pry them apart, further enhancing the longevity and reliability of the educational devices. With Lenovo EDU, educators and students can confidently engage in immersive learning experiences without concerns about device durability or functionality.

Lenovo strongly emphasises developing its devices to stay ahead of emerging threats. Maraguinot expressed Lenovo’s commitment to continuous improvement and adaptation, ensuring its technology remains at the forefront of cybersecurity resilience.

“As technology evolves, Lenovo remains dedicated to transparency and accountability. The company actively engages with its user community, seeking feedback and insights to enhance security features and address emerging concerns,” she explained.

Further, Maraguinot stressed the importance of collaborative efforts between technology providers, educational institutions, and government agencies to create a holistic cybersecurity framework. “We cannot overlook the collaboration and inclusivity needed in cybersecurity,” she explained.

By this far, Lenovo has actively advocated for cybersecurity education and training programmes. Recognising that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, the company has supported initiatives to enhance the digital literacy of educators, students, and administrators.

Maraguinot emphasised the importance of an open dialogue between technology providers and end-users to foster a shared responsibility in maintaining a secure digital environment. “Lenovo’s multifaceted approach to cybersecurity reflects its unwavering commitment to not only deliver cutting-edge technology but also actively contribute to a secure digital future,” she concluded.

Knowledge Insight

Ike Amigo ∶ Updating cybersecurity policies and procedures, ensuring the university’s defence layers against various attacks

Ike Amigo, Far Eastern University’s Chief Information Officer, highlights how the integration of Generative AI enhances cybersecurity and fosters research and innovation at the institution. Far Eastern University is dedicated to advancing its cybersecurity measures, implementing sophisticated network security systems and regularly updating software to bolster its defences.

“Far Eastern University realises that cybersecurity challenges continue to evolve, and we are ready to adapt and take proactive steps to address them,” shares Amigo. “We are committed to continuously improving our cybersecurity as an integral part of our efforts to protect sensitive student and staff data and maintain the smooth operation of the institution.”

Amigo understands that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility across the entire university community, not solely the responsibility of the IT team. He believes that through improved awareness and collaborative efforts, they can effectively maintain a safe and secure digital environment.

To achieve this goal, the university is taking intentional steps, including investing in advanced IT security infrastructure, providing regular training for staff and students on digital security practices, and implementing strict policies related to access management and software usage.

“We realise that the education sector is highly vulnerable to cyber threats, such as phishing, commonly used by attackers to steal sensitive information through manipulation and social engineering,” elaborates Amigo. “Therefore, we continue to enhance our efforts to educate students, staff, and faculty on identifying and avoiding phishing attacks.”

Far Eastern University has actively updated its cybersecurity policies and procedures to ensure the university has strong defence layers against various attacks. They consider it important to continuously update and strengthen their security systems in line with technological developments and existing threats.

The implementation of Generative AI at Far Eastern University is yet more proof of its proactive approach to bolstering its cybersecurity measures. By leveraging Generative AI to analyse past attack patterns and anticipate future threats, the university can fortify its defence mechanisms and respond more effectively to cyber threats, preemptively mitigating potential risks before they materialise.

Amigo emphasised Far Eastern University’s commitment to fostering a secure and innovative learning environment through a sustainable, collaborative approach, ensuring the safety and advancement of its academic community.

“We are committed to keeping up with the latest developments in cybersecurity and implementing cutting-edge technology to protect our learning environment from evolving threats,” he says. “Educational institutions like ours must stay ahead of the curve in cybersecurity. The rapid pace of technological advancement brings both opportunities and challenges, and we must remain vigilant in safeguarding our digital assets and the privacy of our students and staff.”

Closing Remarks

Sharon Maraguinot extended her utmost appreciation for the timely session, which successfully brought together panellists and delegates to exchange ideas and concepts for strengthening cybersecurity in the education sector through Generative AI.

“The dynamic theme of this meeting demonstrates the importance of collaboration among educational institutions, industries, and governments in facing increasingly complex cybersecurity challenges,” said Sharon. “Generative AI has great potential to change the paradigm in protecting our digital infrastructure, and today’s discussion has paved the way for closer cooperation in effectively implementing this technology.”

To effectively combat cyber threats, she acknowledges it is imperative to continuously enhance collaboration across different sectors. This entails fostering partnerships between industries, governments, and academia to share expertise, resources, and insights. Additionally, leveraging the latest research and innovations in cybersecurity is crucial to stay ahead of evolving threats and ensuring robust defence mechanisms are in place.

Recent cyberattacks have been quite unexpected, especially targeting the education sector. These challenges demand us to continuously enhance awareness and security at all levels, from information technology infrastructure to individual awareness of cyber threats.

Investing in comprehensive cybersecurity training and education across all members of the educational community is paramount. By fostering increased awareness and interdisciplinary collaboration, the education sector can bolster its resilience against the growing threat of sophisticated cyber attacks, safeguarding its digital infrastructure and data integrity.

Strong collaboration between the private, public, and academic sectors is essential in developing innovative and effective solutions to counter cyber threats. Only through shared commitment and coordinated efforts can the integrity and security of digital infrastructure be ensured.

“Only by working together and continually developing adaptive strategies can we ensure that the education sector remains a safe and protected environment for all stakeholders,” she knows.

Mohit emphasises the significance of events like today’s in spotlighting the necessity of integrating Generative AI into the education sector’s security framework. Such forums provide valuable opportunities for stakeholders across different sectors to converge, exchange insights, and explore the potential advantages of this technology in tackling the ever-growing complexities of cybersecurity challenges.

Open and timely discussions enable participants to gain deeper insights into how Generative AI can be strategically implemented to safeguard digital infrastructure in the education sector. As a result, awareness regarding the significance of adopting this technology can be heightened among stakeholders, encompassing educational institutions, technology industries, and governmental bodies.

“Today’s discussion has underscored the crucial need for collaboration in addressing cybersecurity challenges in education. Generative AI offers significant potential, and our dialogue paves the way for closer cooperation,” Mohit concludes. “Moving forward, enhancing collaboration, leveraging research, and fostering awareness are essential for safeguarding our education sector against cyber threats.”

At the heart of Singapore’s digital transformation lies the Smart Nation initiative, where the convergence of technology and society revolutionises the way people work, live, and play. This vision encompasses a Digital Government, Digital Economy, and Digital Society, each leveraging technology to drive transformation across healthcare, transportation, urban development, government services, and businesses.

Central to this initiative is the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) commitment to safeguarding the well-being of citizens and employees. Through sustained efforts, MOM aims to sustain wage growth, improve workplace conditions for vulnerable workers, and foster a culture of fairness and progressiveness in workplaces.

With a vision of cultivating a great workforce and workplace, MOM strives to ensure that Singaporeans have access to fulfilling careers, financial security, and safe working environments. MOM’s commitment to enabling Singaporeans to achieve financial security and peace of mind for retirement extends to prioritising the health, safety, and well-being of workers across all sectors.

In today’s dynamic work environment, prioritising the safety and well-being of employees is paramount, and embracing technological advancements is essential. As it navigates the digital era, the integration of digital tools and platforms is intrinsic to MOM’s strategies.

Image / video credits: Ministry of Manpower

With the advent of digital technology, there are innovative solutions that empower individuals to play an active role in creating safer workplaces. SnapSAFE is one such platform, revolutionising the way workplace safety and health (WSH) violations are reported and addressed.

SnapSAFE serves as a reporting platform that enables individuals to report unsafe workplace practices directly to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Whether you’re a concerned member of the public or an employee witnessing hazardous situations, SnapSAFE provides a simple and efficient way to raise awareness and take action.

The importance of reporting unsafe practices cannot be overstated – it saves lives. By promptly reporting violations to MOM, individuals can prevent accidents and injuries, ultimately contributing to the overall safety culture within workplaces. Whether it’s observing unsafe work practices, hazardous conditions, or being subjected to unsafe working environments, SnapSAFE empowers users to take proactive measures towards safety.

For workers, SnapSAFE offers a direct channel to report concerns to supervisors or management, ensuring that safety protocols are upheld and hazards are addressed promptly. By fostering a culture of accountability and transparency, SnapSAFE not only protects individual workers but also cultivates safer environments for all.

Maintaining confidentiality is paramount in the reporting process. SnapSAFE ensures that the identity of the reporter remains confidential, safeguarding individuals from potential repercussions. MOM carefully assesses each report, taking appropriate actions to address safety lapses, which may include fines, warnings, or advisory measures.

The digital nature of SnapSAFE streamlines the reporting process, allowing users to submit reports with ease. Through the platform, individuals can provide detailed information, including photos, descriptions, locations, and relevant company details. MOM utilises this information for thorough investigations, leveraging digital resources to enhance regulatory efforts.

Furthermore, SnapSAFE aligns with the National Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Campaign’s theme of “Reporting Saves Lives.” By promoting awareness and education, the platform empowers both workers and the public to make meaningful contributions to workplace safety. MOM and the WSH Council provide guides and resources to support individuals in understanding the reporting process and its impact on safety initiatives.

As Singapore continues to strive towards its Smart Nation vision, MOM remains steadfast in its dedication to creating a conducive environment where individuals can thrive, innovate, and contribute to Singapore’s success story. Together, with a shared commitment to digital transformation and workplace safety, Singaporeans can unlock the full potential of the nation’s future.

Amidst the swiftly evolving technological landscape, Malaysia stands at the forefront of a dynamic and transformative era. With a forward-looking approach spanning sectors such as banking, healthcare, and education, the country has embraced innovation through six pivotal measures to propel its digital advancement.

These include enhancing cybersecurity, facilitating digital transformation, advocating for digital literacy, promoting innovation and research, undertaking e-government transformation, and fostering digital entrepreneurship and startup initiatives.

Malaysia is strategically focused on catalysing digital transformation in the public sector, enhancing economic competitiveness through digitalisation, and building robust digital infrastructure. Additionally, the nation is committed to preparing a skilled workforce for the digital age, fostering inclusivity in the digital society, and establishing a secure and ethical digital environment. Through these initiatives, Malaysia aims to assert itself as a leader in the global digital arena.

Leveraging a unified platform for digital transformation offers organisations numerous advantages, fundamentally reshaping operations and fostering innovation. Key benefits include increased productivity and enhanced visibility. By embracing an integrated platform that minimises redundancy, streamlines manual efforts, and amplifies automation, teams can prioritise strategic initiatives over routine tasks.

Furthermore, integrating AIOps with machine learning is a powerful technique for optimising the management of enterprise-distributed settings. The fusion of AIOps and ML enables organisations to cultivate a more adaptable and agile IT environment, ensuring operational excellence amid the evolving dynamics inherent in distributed systems.

Enhanced observability significantly improves operational efficiency by empowering organisations to streamline processes, reduce downtime, and rationalise operations through a comprehensive understanding of system behaviours and potential areas for enhancement.

Observability is also crucial for cybersecurity compliance, offering quick threat detection and real-time monitoring. It enables prompt threat identification and proactive responses by analysing network traffic, records, and user actions.

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the imperative for observability has become more critical than ever. Organisations must adhere to regulatory compliance, elevate customer and citizen experiences, enhance operational efficiency, and fortify security measures.

Enterprises must integrate on-premises and cloud technologies for improved visibility in today’s tech-driven environment. This integration enables businesses to monitor digital operations, discover performance issues, manage resources, and predict challenges with deep visibility.

AI/ML significantly improves IT resource management and operations in hybrid cloud environments by addressing issues like tool sprawl and resource constraints. This enables IT professionals to prioritise client experience, potentially boosting revenue through enhanced client satisfaction and loyalty.

AI/ML is crucial in swiftly identifying and resolving issues, reducing remediation time, and optimising value delivery in dynamic hybrid cloud environments. Integrating AI and ML enhances operational efficiency, empowering organisations to prioritise customer-centric activities, leading to positive outcomes and potential revenue growth.

The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 23 February 2024 at Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara delved into the dynamics of the transformative epoch and the potential of AIOps in enhancing IT management.

This gathering convened various experts in Malaysia, fostering the exchange of experiences and the generation of innovative ideas for future strategies to empower IT executives to proactively identify and resolve potential issues, minimising disruptions to critical services.

Opening Remarks

Mohit Sagar∶ Organisations that employ observability are better positioned to improve user experiences and encourage a culture of continuous improvement

Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia, kicked off the session by extending a warm welcome to all attendees. He expressed gratitude to both the attendees and panellists for their active participation, acknowledging their role as catalysts for change in the future digital transformation era.

Mohit then encouraged participants to share their real-world experiences of integrating AIOps into their organisations, fostering meaningful dialogue and exchanging insights on its impact on their journeys.

“As many of you have incorporated observability and artificial intelligence (AIOps) into your organisations, I request you to share your real-world experiences and their impact on your digital transformation journey,” Mohit asked.

“Integrating AIOps has been a game-changer for us. The predictive analytics and automated response capabilities have significantly reduced our mean time to resolution,” said a representative from a technology company. “It is not just about fixing issues faster but also about identifying and addressing potential problems before they impact our operations. This proactive approach has saved us both time and resources.”

Mohit considered observability in today’s world an important component, providing a framework for this progress and an in-depth knowledge of the intricacy of digital systems. Businesses can acquire real-time insights into their digital operations by utilising tracking and data collection solutions, allowing for proactive issue identification and resolution and making it more efficient in operating its system.

“In today’s world of rapid technology breakthroughs, Digital Evolution through Observability offers a long-term strategy to promote organisational growth and innovation,” Mohit said. “However, the shift toward observability is more than periodic troubleshooting; it represents a broader transformational journey.”

Organisations that employ observability are better positioned to optimise efficiency, improve user experiences and encourage a culture of continuous improvement. In essence, Digital Evolution through Observability highlights the nature of staying ahead in the digital age by embracing a proactive and adaptive approach based on full system visibility.

Malaysia has embraced a strategy that underscores the rapid adoption of digital technology across all sectors of the economy. The government actively invests in developing digital skills, innovative ecosystems, and infrastructure in collaboration with private businesses.

Mohit believed Malaysia must have a system that navigates seamlessly through the dynamics of digital transformation and advocates for the adoption of observability and AIOps as the solution.

“Public and private sector organisations can modernise their IT systems using AIOps. Real-time monitoring of data sources is made possible by observability, which ensures that information will be accessible when needed,” he asserts “It ensures that services can rely on accurate information by assisting in the identification and resolution of problems with data availability, quality, and system integrations.”

Mohit shares that observability and AIOps also help to discover areas for process automation, resource optimisation, and service level enhancements – all of which lead to more effective and efficient services. It can lead to a significant improvement in overall operational efficiency.

“By proactively addressing performance concerns through observability and AIOps, organisations can identify and rectify potential issues before they escalate and ensure a seamless experience,” Mohit explains. “This approach leads to quicker response times, allowing teams to swiftly anticipate and address challenges, resulting in an enhanced user experience with minimal disruptions and efficient, reliable service delivery.”

Welcome Address

Bharat Bedi∶ AI incorporation can minimise reliance on speculation and avoid simple errors and confusion

Bharat Bedi, Managing Director for Asia Pacific & Japan at SolarWinds Inc., stressed that ” artificial intelligence is all-encompassing,” highlighting the transformative influence of AI on the future of technology and its significant impact across diverse industries.

He explored the importance of AI-driven solutions, emphasising their role in revolutionising processes, fostering innovation, and reshaping the landscape of the Asia Pacific & Japan region.

“Investing your energy and efforts in strategic endeavours is more crucial than engaging in repetitive tasks, which lack productivity,” Bedi believes, “In today’s dynamic business environment, leveraging AI is essential. AI-driven solutions not only streamline processes but also pave the way for innovation in new frontiers.”

Bharat urged the audience to recognise AI as a fundamental element for future success in the region, playing a crucial role in efficient resource allocation, promoting innovation, and maintaining a competitive edge in a swiftly evolving business environment.

SolarWinds has improved its monitoring and observability products by integrating advanced AI capabilities. This ensures that customers no longer need to spend excessive time reviewing logs, monitoring performance metrics, or addressing disruptive, low-value alerts.

Their tools autonomously detect anomalies and uncommon patterns amidst the extensive stream of constantly generated data. This empowers customers to focus on tasks delivering significant value to their organisations.

Bedi shared that SolarWinds can provide comprehensive solutions to help organisations enhance system efficiency.

  1. SolarWinds Observability: Provides integrated and extensive visibility for cloud-native, on-premises, and hybrid custom and commercial applications, ensuring optimal service levels and user satisfaction with critical business services.
  2. IT Service Management: Aids in streamlining help desk ticketing, managing IT assets, and supporting end-users.
  3. IT Security Management Tools: Tailored solutions geared towards achieving quicker time-to-value, assisting organisations in maintaining a secure operating environment without needing a fully established security operations centre (SOC).
  4. Database Management: The database solutions aid in overseeing, analysing, diagnosing, and enhancing both database performance and data operations essential for driving critical business applications. They also seamlessly integrate on-premises and cloud database visibility, control, and management across various vendors.

“The current goal is extracting valuable business insights from data to enhance data-driven decision-making, all while minimising reliance on speculation and avoiding misleading leads,” Bedi concluded. “And overcoming this challenge is notably more feasible with the incorporation of AI.”

Power Talk

To stay competitive amidst the rapid shifts in today’s technology landscape, organisations must possess the capability to adapt and evolve. An integral component of effective change management involves ensuring observability and visibility across many domains, spanning infrastructure, applications, IT operations, and data.

A meticulously integrated observability strategy empowers IT professionals to pinpoint the root causes of issues, enhance performance, and make informed decisions that align with business objectives. Moreover, it facilitates seamless collaboration between development and operations teams, cultivating a culture of ongoing enhancement.

Jacky Cheong∶ Cloud services offer features that can enhance data visibility and control

Jacky Cheong, Head of Enterprise, Data Governance (EDG) at CelcomDigi Berhad, emphasises that maintaining robust data governance practices is paramount for organisations in today’s data-driven landscape, and leveraging the scalability and flexibility of cloud services can be instrumental in achieving this goal.

“Cloud services offer a range of features that can enhance data visibility and control, including robust access controls, comprehensive audit trails, and sophisticated encryption protocols,” he says. “By leveraging these capabilities, organisations can effectively monitor and manage their data, tracking who accesses it and how it is utilised.”

Jacky illustrated his point by sharing that cloud providers frequently furnish user-friendly tools allowing organisations to monitor and oversee their data in real-time, thereby ensuring its security and compliance with regulations. This increased visibility empowers organisations to preemptively detect and resolve potential data process issues, mitigating risks and upholding data integrity and dependability.

Moreover, cloud-based data analytics tools can be invaluable in monitoring data quality and flagging anomalies or errors as they occur. This capability enables organisations to take prompt corrective action, ensuring the data remains accurate and trustworthy for informed decision-making.

“Cloud services often include robust disaster recovery and backup solutions, ensuring that data remains available and reliable despite unforeseen events. This can be particularly beneficial for organisations seeking to mitigate the risk of data loss or downtime,” he elaborated.

Vincent Leo∶ Observability helps DevOps teams quickly detect and respond to security incidents meticulously

Vincent Leo, Head of Digital Initiative Studio (IT) at Plus Malaysia Berhad, agrees that observability plays a pivotal role in shaping the customer experience within digital environments, and it offers comprehensive insights into the performance of applications and infrastructure. This visibility empowers organisations to proactively identify and resolve issues, ensuring a reliable and seamless customer journey.

For instance, real-time anomaly detection facilitated by observability enables organisations to rectify errors swiftly before they impact decision-making processes. However, achieving such seamless observability comes with challenges, including the intricate nature of modern applications and the imperative of a cohesive approach between DevOps and security teams.

Vincent acknowledges that security is a paramount concern in digital and cloud realms, given the looming risks of data breaches, financial fraud, ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. Observability can substantially enhance security postures by furnishing a holistic view of the customer’s digital journey, fortifying customer data protection, and actively thwarting malicious attacks.

Through meticulous data collection and analysis across every system, application, and infrastructure component, observability enables DevOps teams to promptly detect and respond to security incidents at any juncture during the customer journey. Integrating automated testing tools further assures quality maintenance across the entire customer experience development lifecycle.

Nonetheless, he also expressed apprehension that for organisations to harness observability optimally, they must guarantee that data is not solely accessible and precise but also analysed promptly. This instantaneous analysis is pivotal in delivering the necessary level of observability to improve customer experience and reinforce security measures.

Bharat Bedi∶ Organisations can leverage tools and technologies to achieve visibility throughout their IT business

Bharat Bedi, Managing Director of Asia Pacific & Japan at SolarWinds Inc., explained that organisations could proactively align their observability and visibility strategies to effectively manage and navigate change, especially in the context of evolving IT operations and cloud environments, by adopting several key practices.

Firstly, organisations should prioritise establishing a unified approach to observability, ensuring that all relevant teams have access to the same tools and data. This can help streamline communication and collaboration, enabling teams to identify and address issues as they arise quickly.

Additionally, they should invest in technologies that provide comprehensive visibility across their entire IT landscape, including cloud services, hybrid environments and on-premises infrastructure. This holistic approach can help organisations better understand their IT ecosystem, allowing them to make more informed decisions and better manage change.

Organisations can leverage tools and technologies to achieve visibility throughout their IT business. This may include deploying monitoring solutions that provide real-time insights into their IT systems’ performance and implementing analytics tools to help identify trends and patterns in their data.

Moreover, organisations should focus on data integration and interoperability, ensuring their various IT systems can communicate and share data effectively. By adopting these practices, organisations can gain a more comprehensive view of their IT business, enabling them to manage change better and drive productivity gains.

Bharat is convinced that organisations can achieve productivity gains through observability by embracing automation and machine intelligence and eliminating organisational. Automation can streamline repetitive tasks and processes, freeing time for IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

“Machine intelligence can help organisations make sense of the vast amounts of data generated by their IT systems, enabling them to identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent to human analysts,” he opines. “By breaking down organisational styles and fostering a culture of collaboration, organisations can ensure that their IT teams work together towards common goals rather than in isolation.”

Closing Remarks

Bharat expressed gratitude to the participants actively engaged in discussions on this topic, acknowledging their valuable contributions and perspectives that significantly enriched the dialogue. Their enthusiastic participation fostered a productive and practical environment, while their collaborative spirit enhanced collective understanding, providing valuable insights to lay the foundation for future steps in Malaysia.

Bharat reiterated that AIOps, with its artificial intelligence, has the potential to optimise system monitoring and detect anomalies more quickly and accurately. Concurrently, observability, which centres on a thorough comprehension of systems and applications, furnishes a holistic and comprehensive perspective of the entire IT environment.

Amidst the intricacies of the present technological landscape, the significance of integrating AIOps and observability becomes more pertinent. A good understanding of the interconnection between these two tools can serve as a strong foundation for improving operational performance and efficiency.

“We know that cyberattack is possible to occur anytime, and I believe AI will be the solution for it,” Bharat believes. “By harnessing observability, organisations can identify potential issues earlier, reduce downtime, and enhance the user experience.”

Observability, with its focus on gaining in-depth insights into the functioning of systems and applications, becomes a crucial tool in maintaining operational efficiency. Its capability to identify and analyse real-time patterns empowers organisations to proactively address issues, fostering enhanced system reliability and minimising disruptions.

Bharat was delighted that the forum had provided valuable food for thought and ideas for participants from both the private and public sectors. He remains optimistic about the continuity of this constructive spirit, anticipating ongoing engagement and the exchange of innovative ideas in future OpenGov Breakfast Insights.

“It is truly an honour to be among such incredible folks, all united by a common vision and mission in digital transformation preparedness,” Bedi said. “I am confident the insights we have gathered during this forum can seamlessly translate into practical implementation within our respective spheres.”

The ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Crime, which was established in 1997, recognises the importance of combating transnational crime, including terrorism, and calls for the formation of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) and Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC). The use of the internet for propaganda and the spread of terrorist ideology is a growing concern, and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime recognises the need to address this issue.

Transnational crimes, notably terrorism, pose a grave concern in Indonesia, where terrorism is viewed as an offence against the state, inflicting widespread harm on individuals and detrimentally affecting the nation’s economy.

Image credits: menpan.go.id

Abdullah Azwar Anas, who served as the Minister of State Apparatus Utilisation and Bureaucratic Reform in Indonesia, explained that digitalisation plays a crucial role in countering terrorism. With the adoption of digital technology, the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) is predicted to be more effective in combating radicalism and terrorism in Indonesia.

Further, digitalisation is also seen as making it easier for BNPT to identify, analyse, and follow up on terrorist activities and networks. Therefore, digitalisation is not just a tool to improve the efficiency of public services but also a means to strengthen national security through counter-terrorism efforts.

The Minister PANRB, Abdullah Azwar Anas, encouraged BNPT to contribute to the success of government digitalisation efforts, including by interoperating various applications within BNPT. He also urged BNPT to maximise the use of its digital platform to make counter-terrorism efforts more effective and efficient.

“The digitalisation programme at BNPT is important to ensure that the organisation’s performance in the future will be much greater than it is now. BNPT can also push its digital system to achieve targets to the maximum,” he asserted.

In terms of BNPT’s institutional framework, Minister Anas elaborated on strategic steps that would be undertaken to enhance the integrated handling of terrorism offences. These steps encompass a comprehensive approach aimed at reinforcing BNPT’s pivotal role as a centre for analysing crisis control in countering terrorism. Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on leveraging digital technologies, including artificial intelligence and big data, to augment BNPT’s capabilities in combating terrorism effectively.

The Ministry of PANRB also recommended several strategic steps that BNPT can take. One of them is through optimising digital transformation in carrying out BNPT’s role as a centre for analysing crisis control in countering terrorism. Thus, it is envisioned that counter-terrorism efforts can be carried out more effectively and efficiently.

“I envision that BNPT can carry out its duties and functions seriously, focus on effectiveness and efficiency, and provide benefits to the community and the government,” Anas said.

Looking ahead, BNPT Chief Commissioner Pol Mohammed Rycko Amelza Daniel said that the counter-terrorism strategy would focus on preventing, preparing, protecting, eradicating, and partnering in counter-terrorism efforts with BNPT. In terms of utilising digitalisation, BNPT has the Indonesia Knowledge Hub on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism (I-Khub on CT/VE) digital platform, which was created as a connector for planning and implementing programmes and knowledge products between Ministries/Agencies, Local Governments, Donor Agencies, Multilateral Agencies, NGOs, and the private sector.

I-KHub, as a knowledge product based on evidence-based information, can be a reference for policy-making to prevent and combat violence-based extremism that leads to terrorism in accordance with the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. In early February, Rycko and his team launched the Digital NKRI Warung in Kahuman Village, Polanharjo District, Klaten.

Digital NKRI Warung is a traditional store development programme that sells the daily necessities of the people and potential local products combined with information technology devices. Thus, not only does it serve as a means to improve the economy of the community, but it also serves as a means of education and increasing national insight.

“I am optimistic that in the future, the use of digital platforms within BNPT can continue to develop and be beneficial in preventing and combating violence-based extremism that leads to terrorism in Indonesia,” he concluded.

Ho Chi Minh City is gearing up to propel its digital economy, with ambitious targets set to significantly boost its contribution to the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP). By 2025, the goal is for the digital economy to constitute 20% of the GRDP, increasing to 40% by 2030.

In a groundbreaking move, Ho Chi Minh City conducted a scientific assessment of the digital economy’s contribution to its GRDP for the first time in 2021, revealing a notable figure of 15.38% (excluding e-commerce and sharing economy). Building on this momentum, the estimated contribution surged to 18.66% in 2022 and is projected to reach 22% by 2024.

Lam Dinh Thang, Director of the municipal Department of Information and Communications, emphasized that the city has been entrusted with a pivotal role by the Politburo’s Resolution 31/2022, tasked with spearheading the nation’s transition to a digital economy by 2030.

To fulfil this mandate, Ho Chi Minh City has been proactive in implementing measures to foster the digital economy, integrating digital economic development targets into key municipal Party Committee resolutions and the city’s annual socio-economic development program.

Key initiatives include the development of digital infrastructure and the promotion of non-cash payments across various sectors, particularly in administrative procedures, education, healthcare, and transportation. However, Thang highlighted challenges such as insufficient awareness, inconsistent measurement methods, and a lack of policies and resources to support small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ha Than, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association, suggested prioritising economic sectors for digital transformation and establishing a clear roadmap to enhance public familiarity with digital economic and administrative processes.

Meanwhile, Professor-Dr. Tran Minh Tuan, Director of the Department of Digital Economy and Digital Society under the Ministry of Information and Communications, advised focusing on digital economic development in key sectors such as processing, manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, and services.

In line with these recommendations, the municipal Department of Information and Communications has rolled out measures and policies since the beginning of 2024 to support small and medium-sized enterprises, business households, and individuals. This includes training and consulting activities, as well as facilitating access to digital platforms at affordable prices.

Furthermore, the city is keen on nurturing and incentivising digital technology businesses to drive innovation and accelerate digital transformation across various economic sectors. Improving the investment environment and operations at the hi-tech park are also kept at the fore to create an ecosystem conducive to digital innovation and growth.

In an effort to drive digital transformation and meet the objectives outlined in the resolution of the 11th Congress of the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Organisation, Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Communications, Vo Minh Thanh, unveiled the city’s ambitious roadmap comprising nine pivotal tasks during a meeting held on February 22nd.

The outlined tasks encompass various aspects of digitalisation, including the enhancement of information technology infrastructure, the implementation of an integrated information system for administrative procedures, and the promotion of a mobile app for streamlined communication between citizens and local authorities. Additionally, the city plans to establish a shared digital platform, digitise sector-specific data, and provide training for members of the community digital technology team.

A significant focus lies on the effective utilisation of the Quang Trung Software Park in District 12 while exploring opportunities for the creation of additional concentrated information technology zones. These endeavours are aimed at fostering regional connectivity and bolstering the growth of the IT industry within the city.

By concentrating on these initiatives, Ho Chi Minh City aims to leverage digital transformation as a fundamental solution to propel economic development and enhance overall efficiency in governance and service delivery.


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