The Indonesian government has made persistent efforts to seek advanced data interpretation solutions for decision making in areas such as law enforcement, finance and health care, among others. The efforts are in line with a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence development that the government has released in the form of a blueprint to guide the country’s AI development between 2020 and 2045.
Indonesia’s national AI strategy consists of four primary focal areas – ethics and policy, talent development, infrastructure data and industrial research innovation. Under ethics and policy, enhancing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing initiatives is the focus for the Indonesian government to improve governance and compliance.
While graph databases technology is not new, it has been the fastest-growing technology in critical decision making. By organising data in a graph format, Graph Databases functions can overcome big and complex data challenges that standard databases cannot solve that will speed up tracking and decision making. With the power to analyse and find relationships of billions of data accurately, this technology will complement Indonesia’s national Artificial Intelligence strategy.
Graph Database technology can detect unethical practices in real-time which allows tracking transactions with multiple functions and people proofing. Detecting and eradicating unethical behaviours with Graph Database technology has been eye-opening for governments throughout the world.
Due to the growth of Graph Database technology and the simplicity of learning and application, converting and connecting data into a usable graph schema has become commonplace. Moreover, a graph model greatly improves decision-making and fraud detection processes in government operations.
Graph Databases solve problems that are both impractical and practical for relational queries. It speeds up reviewing information based on given algorithms and quickly provides evidence and alternative solutions to make decisions quickly and effectively that mitigate all fraudulent activities.
Graph Databases provide quick modelling and advanced Machine Learning methods to combat unethical behaviour. This can also lead to better detection due to the interconnected data. Real-time graph analytics can help explore, identify and forecast complicated relationships to make more accurate judgments.
Governments can opt to track location and time using the Graph Database platform. Practitioners can weight edges to explicitly link entities that are close in location or time which records time series data for fraud detection and raises red flags.
This was the focal point of the OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight on 22 September 2021. This session aims to provide the latest information on delivering an effective method to detail evidence and practical decision-making using Graph Databases. This is a closed-door, invitation-only, interactive session with top Indonesian government institutions.
Finding Partners for Using Graph Database Technology
To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia delivered the opening address.
Mohit began emphasising the complexity of data, especially in government agencies as data is being collected in multiple ways, across various agencies for a variety of purposes. This collection has been going from the beginning, be it in structured or structured ways, all adding to the intricacies of working with data.
Further, as security is one of the biggest challenges for governments, agencies need to be aware of what goes on in the entire infrastructure.
Citizens’ expectations of governments’ digital services are continually increasing, in the normal course of time, but even more so in the backdrop of the pandemic. To a large extent, this is because the benchmark of personalised customer experience has been raised by retail outlets that use a plethora of cutting edge solutions. As a result, people are looking for more efficient digital services from all areas including the public sector.
For Mohit, Graph Database is a great and relevant technology for the public sector as the data is incredibly complex and often chaotic. While the technology has been around for 30 years, the adoption of this technology in organisations and agencies is still in its infancy. However, as data is getting immensely complicated, agencies are starting to utilise Graph Database technology increasingly.
In closing, Mohit emphasised the importance of finding the right partners to organise data using Graph Database technology. Having competent experts who can focus on analysing data to keep agencies safe and secure, allows governments to focus on their main tasks and key deliverables.
Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning on Connected Data
The forum next heard from Reza Pahlevi, Managing Director, Indonesia, TigerGraph on the benefits of using Graph Database technology for the public sector.
Reza agreed with Mohit premise that the idea of Graph Database technology has been around for a long time, but the applications are still in the beginning stage. To elaborate, he gave an example of how graph analytics work when comparing two famous people. While both have a huge following, Graph Database technology can differentiate these groups in a number of ways. For example, they can show the different types of audience that they have which results in different impacts and the way they can address each.
Over the last decade, the adoption of Graph Database became more popular. In the last two years, its popularity escalated because Indonesian agencies adapted to the recent technologies relatively quickly, ware that Graph Database could help agencies accomplish their goals.
Founded in 2012 and the headquarter in California, TigerGraph provides graph database and graph analytics software. TigerGraph is versatile and can be used across a wide range of industries, including financial, manufacturing and the public sector.
Introduced in Indonesia just over 5 months ago, the customer growth has been rapid. Agencies that adopt TigerGraph can save money and increase potential revenue over and above the three key benefits of TigerGraph – the ability to scale, high performance and convenience.
While its wide diversity covers areas from life science and cybersecurity, the adoption of Graph Database has mainly been in the financial sector as 7 of the 10 major global financial institutions use the TigerGraph platform. It has been deployed for credit card fraud, impact analysis, merchant analysis, credit scoring, trade surveillance and wealth management.
Reza elaborated on cross-industry use cases, including fraud detection, anti-money laundering solution, law enforcement specific solution and supply chain solution.
One of the largest global banks used TigerGraph for detecting fraud rings in its search for a better way to detect and remove fraudsters from their credit card network. Big-data tools and other graph technologies either could not scale to the full customer base or gave inconsistent results but prototypes had shown that a combination of advanced graph algorithms gave significant gains. By using TigerGraph, the company was able to expose fraud rings, shut down connected cards and combat fraudulent activity on a massive scale.
Another use case is a leading technology group in Southeast Asia that uses TigerGraph to combat crime and fraud. The company has a super mobile app as an exchange for many products and services including their popular ride-hailing services across Asia. They are constantly battling and trying to keep up with users of the platform attempting to defraud and cheat their consumers. The company needed a graph database technology that could quickly perform fraud-related queries/algorithms in real-time.
After comparing several graph vendors, the company selected TigerGraph because it allowed them to process their large data size and perform real-time analytics at the same time. By using TigerGraph, the company was able to combine and analyse data across entities pan-Asia and greatly increase the ability to capture fraud and provide optimisation of their ride-hauling business.
Reza was confident that organisations from various industries will adopt Graph Database technology and it will eventually become must-have technology.
Discovering the Unseen Opportunities with Graph Database
Iwan Djuniardi, Director of Information and Communications Technology Transformation at Directorate General of Taxation under the Ministry of Finance, Republic of Indonesia was the next speaker.
Iwan started by stating the goals of the Directorate General of Taxation (DGT), the Ministry of Finance, Republic of Indonesia. The DGT aims to increase revenue by broadening the taxpayer base and improving compliance. Besides revenue, services need to be consistently improved by leveraging technology. Deploying technology also leads to lower costs and greater transparency.
Iwan described the challenges that DGT face to accomplish their objectives. The first challenge is the increase in the system load that will continue into the future. At present, the number of taxpayers in Indonesia is around 40 million and the number is expected to be 70 million in 2030.
Another challenge is the behaviour changes of taxpayers that will be dominated by millennials. Historically, DGT, like many government agencies, did not have a strong citizen-centric outlook. The organisation’s culture will have to change and they will need to adapt services according to what citizens want.
The last challenge is administrative which includes risk management, skill and expertise gaps, and poor data quality.
After laying out the challenges, Iwan explained how deploying Graph Database helped. By using the technology, DGT can collect data from various sources, both internal and external. The analysis allows them to identify, investigate and escalate the tax revenue potential. Graph Database enables them to implement an information administration system with single case management and a method of predictive analytics based on risk assessment.
Iwan elaborated with the use case of Data analysis of Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial Kesehatan (BPJS) or Social Health Insurance Administration Body. BPJS owns some information related to the number of employees working in Indonesia and the amount of BPJS fees paid by companies. DGT has some information related to the number of employees and total salaries. Using tax invoices as input, big data can dig up some inter-data correlation, especially for transfer pricing prevention. Each transaction pool can be mapped, clarifying the transfer pricing indication.
In closing, Iwan reiterated the key points of his presentation. Graph Analytics big data is highly effective, accurate and reliable, allowing the speedy achievement of DGT’s revenue target as well as revealing tax fraud and tax avoidance issues. Overall, Graph Database technology helps achieve DGT’S key objectives.
TigerGraph Live Demo
After speakers’ presentations, Ghulam Imaduddin, Director, Solution Engineering at TigerGraph did a live demo on how to use Graph Database technology. He displayed the TigerGraph dashboard for the management of fraud. There are total alert cases that come from the algorithm that TigerGraph implements in Graph Databases plus a feature of ‘location’ which is important for fraud prevention. Agencies can view the summary and recommendations as well as recorded cases and, if necessary, can customise all the features for specific needs.
Ghulam went on to explain how to create alerts and follow cases. By using TigerGraph, agencies can know and track all the cases from the beginning, showing show things that trigger transactions. Agencies can customise the criteria and priority in creating alerts. TigerGraph already provides the algorithm for any kind of criteria, from basic to advance, so agencies can utilise that easily.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This session is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences and impart professional learning and development for the participants. It is an opportunity for delegates to gain insight from subject matter experts, share their stories and take back strategies that can be implemented in their organisations.
The first question asked whether delegates are familiar with the advantages of Graph Database and how they will enhance their daily decision-making process. Almost half (43%) said that they are familiar but currently have not implemented this technology. A little more than one-third are not familiar and have not implemented this technology while about a fifth (19%) are currently using it.
A delegate from the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning said Graph Databases are important and will be beneficial in informing policies, but unfortunately, at present, her organisation has not adopted this technology.
Reza believed that Graph Database technology will be the future technology that many agencies adopt, not just for fraud detection, but in other areas. Iwan added that in taxes, there was a lot of modus operandi for fraud. Sometimes the ambiguity of the regulations allows bad actors to find a loophole to commit fraud.
The second question inquired about how the current usage of graphs in delegates’ organisations. Almost half (46%) acknowledge they use graphs to a limited extent, especially in the initial phase of exploring how graph could be of value. Almost one-third (31%) used graphs in several projects but not at the production level and not on a large scale. Almost one-fourth (23%) used graphs in a small way and had some understanding of how graphs work.
A delegate asked whether the data has to be well-constructed to use Graph Database. Ghulam clarified that the data did not need to be well-managed. In fact, one of the benefits of TigerGraph is data management – agencies can have raw data with few connections and TigerGraph can link the data and make predictions.
On being asked about how they see that graph can be valuable to them, a little more than one-third (37%) chose a 3600 view of the customer. Delegates were equally divided (25%) between identity graph and supply chain while 13% chose fraud or money laundering.
A delegate from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights asked if Graph Database could be deployed to determining disharmony or inconsistencies in regulations. Iwan explained with the example how his company used Neuro-Linguistic Programming to find out why his organisation kept losing in court. The technology revealed that the reason why kept losing was due to the inconsistencies in the regulations.
Participants were polled on what tool they use to detect early fraud detection and fraud prevention with higher quality alerts that find suspicious activities. Almost two-thirds (69%) did not have any tool to alert or detect suspicious activity while one-third said the tool they use was not a real-time one.
The last question asked whether they are ready for Industry 5.0 to provide insights and scale their business. A little more than one-third (34%) said they were ready to a limited extent (in the initial phase of exploring how graph can be of value). Almost a quarter (24%) have some understanding (small scale usage) of how graph works. Delegates were equally split (18%) between using in several projects but not at the production level (not on large scale) and use graph at the enterprise level but and curious to find out more about scalability, distributed (advanced users/clients).
On being asked by Mohit about what agencies should do as the first step, Ghulam said that agencies only needed to prepare the kinds of data they have. He emphasises that the data do not have to be complex or geo-spatial although it is better to have simple connected data using any relevant criteria.
The Virtual Insight concluded with remarks from Reza Pahlevi. As technology gets more sophisticated, agencies need to be adaptive and adopt advanced technologies to accomplish their goals, including Graph Databases technology. In the future, Reza felt many organisations and agencies will move to Graph Databases as the technology is proven to be efficient increase performance.
Before bringing the session to an end, Reza thanked everyone for their active participation and the key insights shared. He encouraged the delegates to exchange ideas and gain more information about Graph Databases.
SINGAPORE – February 2, 2023 – Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has collaborated with National Geographic CreativeWorks to unveil UNSEEN/SINGAPORE, a campaign that showcases Singapore as a travel destination from the perspective of intrepid photographers from Southeast Asia. Through photography, the campaign includes a virtual exhibition which encourages travellers to explore the city-state’s cultural diversity and hidden spots, by taking a moment to observe the unseen beauty of destination Singapore.
Running from 2 February 2023, UNSEEN/SINGAPORE will showcase a collection of photographic works through a virtual exhibition, captured and curated by six photographers from across Southeast Asia. UNSEEN/SINGAPORE features the works of:
- Amani Azlin from Malaysia
- Tino Renato from Indonesia
- Chanipol Kusolcharttum, better known as “Rockkhound”, from Thailand
- Phạm Gia Tùng from Vietnam
- Gab Mejia from the Philippines
- Jayaprakash Bojan from Singapore
In curating the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE collection, each photographer visited Singapore in mid-2022, covering areas in Singapore that showcase nature, heritage buildings, cultural sites, and art. Each presented their vision of an UNSEEN/SINGAPORE through ways that resonate with their passions and personal experiences.
The photographers ventured across Singapore, going beyond its famous attractions and iconic skyline, to discover spots equally captivating – from charming neighbourhoods to lush and thriving offshore wetlands and a lighthouse at the island’s edge.
“We aim to inspire travellers to Singapore to rediscover the joy of travel once again. One way is to portray our destination in a different light, by helping visitors to see it afresh through another person’s eyes. UNSEEN/SINGAPORE set out to do this, through the lens of talented photographers from Southeast Asia, who tell their journey of discovery through photography. We hope they will inspire a new wave of visitors to discover a Singapore reimagined,” said Mr John Conceicao, Executive Director, Southeast Asia, STB.
“If you want to experience a country, you have to go down a layer below into the more local stuff to get a feel of what the country is. For people who’ve already visited Singapore, they should try and look for some of the unorthodox locations which they probably missed in their previous visits because
there’s a lot more to Singapore with the culture and heritage,” shared Jayaprakash Bojan, a full-time photographer and documentary filmmaker who advocates conservation via visuals and participated in the campaign.
UNSEEN/SINGAPORE is part of STB’s efforts to boost travel recovery through SingapoReimagine, a tourism campaign that highlights new, innovative and unexpected experiences in Singapore to audiences worldwide.
Between January to December 2022, Singapore recorded 6.3 million international visitor arrivals. Visitor arrivals were driven by strong demand from Singapore’s key source markets, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
Get to know the photographers
Amani Azlin from Malaysia
Amani is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who expresses her passion for minimalism through her work for various local brands. When Amani is taking pictures, she goes in with her camera and doesn’t give it too much thought. It’s all about taking pictures in the moment and only scrutinising them afterwards. For her, it’s about capturing candid, unscripted moments in daily life, even when she’s travelling in a different country. As the only female photographer in the group, she offers a fresh take on travelling to must-visit sites with her passion for slow travel rather than touch-and-go experiences.
Jayaprakash Bojan from Singapore
Jayaprakash Bojan was National Geographic’s Nature Photographer of the Year 2017. He is a nature-wildlife conservation artist whose work focuses on wildlife photography abroad. As someone who has lived in Singapore for around 7 years, the pandemic has pushed him to explore his own neighbourhood (particularly Pasir Ris Park) rather than places abroad. With this project, Jayaprakash rediscovers his home, Singapore, from a different perspective.
Tino Renato from Indonesia
A self-taught travel, food, portrait and still life photographer, Tino started his journey when he was younger, starting out with a film camera, and it remains his favourite medium for taking his pictures. For him, it’s all about capturing the raw moments of a place and its people and making them the focus of his pictures. It is what makes his photos appear simple while adding depth to the story as we can witness in the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE project.
Chanipol Kusolcharttum, also known as “Rockkhound”, from Thailand
After a few years of working as an air steward and travelling the world, Rockkhound decided to pursue and kickstart his passion for photography as a career, enabling him to continue exploring the world. The photographer-cinematographer from Bangkok started his photography journey about 10 years ago on Instagram while embracing the philosophy of slowing down to truly live in the moment and enjoy the scenery all around him when he is out and about. His style is to deliver motion and emotion, such as looking for an interesting composition to give some movement to still architecture in Singapore. He runs a production company in Bangkok, holds workshops and shares photo and filmmaking tips on his YouTube channel.
Phạm Gia Tùng from Vietnam
Tùng enjoys the photographic process – from scouting a location to finding new angles and setting up his shots, no matter how long it takes. The Hanoi-based photographer focuses on taking photos from angles people rarely consider, and constantly learning ways to improve his photography. Even though he has visited Singapore many times before, this project gave him the opportunity to appreciate and capture Singapore’s nature and people differently.
Gab Mejia from the Philippines
Gab is a National Geographic explorer and is passionate about wildlife photography and conservation. In 2021, he was awarded the World Wildlife Fund For Nature International President’s Youth Award and was also listed on the 2021 Forbes Under 30 List for The Arts in Asia for photography. His story started when his dad took him mountain climbing, sparking his interest in the natural world and the stories he could discover and capture behind it. His vision for this project is to show a different side of Singapore, capturing moments of the wild and pockets of nature.
UNSEEN/SINGAPORE will be open to the public on www.nationalgeographic.com/unseensingapore from 2 February 2023 inviting visitors to reimagine Singapore. The virtual exhibition will showcase each photographer’s ‘room’ based on their thematic-led collections. Viewers will be able to virtually visit many parts of Singapore including locations such as the Sim Kwong Ho shophouses, Pulau Ubin, Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, Jurong Lake Gardens, Changi Chapel and Museum, and more.
To view the UNSEEN/SINGAPORE virtual exhibition, visit
To watch behind-the-scenes of UNSEEN/SINGAPORE, visit www.facebook.com/VisitSingaporeMY.
Singapore’s Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, S Iswaran, and the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, signed the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership (EUSDP), a comprehensive framework for all areas of bilateral digital cooperation between the EU and Singapore.
The partnership covers various aspects of the cross-border digital economy, including digital trade facilitation, secure data transfers, electronic payments, and standards and compliance. It also addresses cutting-edge areas like artificial intelligence (AI), digital identities, and 5G/6G. The partnership aims to enhance broader participation in the digital economy by collaborating on digital skills training for employees and the digitisation of businesses and public services.
The EU-Singapore Digital Trade Principles, the first outcome of the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership, were signed by Iswaran, as stated in a press release. This marks the beginning of a legally binding digital trade agreement between the two sides. The principles facilitate cross-border data transfers, reduce costs through electronic trade documentation and authentication, and enhance online consumer protection for people buying goods and services online.
Minister Iswaran and Commissioner Breton agreed to exchange best practices and/or develop projects in AI governance and standards and digital identities. The two sides will facilitate cross-border digital transactions and support SMEs’ digital transformation and digital skills. They also said they anticipate more joint projects between Singapore and the EU, including the EU Member States, in partnership with the private sector.
Iswaran stated that the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership strengthens connectivity and interoperability between the digital markets of the EU and Singapore. It will enable Singapore citizens and businesses to transact digitally more seamlessly and at lower costs. As a first deliverable, the officials launched a set of Digital Trade Principles, marking the first step towards a bilateral digital trade agreement that provides legal certainty for cross-border digital trade.
Digital infrastructure, such as data centres and submarine telecom cables, plays a crucial role in enabling cross-border connectivity between countries and regions. To create a secure, resilient, and sustainable digital environment for individuals and businesses, both sides will work together to promote digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, to support trusted cross-border data flows and data sharing, Singapore and the EU will work on the application of model data protection contracts and provide guidance for their use. They will also exchange information on the infrastructure and governance frameworks needed to facilitate data sharing.
The two sides will also cooperate on information sharing in platform governance and regulation. To drive the development and uptake of 5G and beyond 5G technologies, they will research use cases and possible areas of collaboration on R&D pilots. To support the deployment of AI, Singapore and the EU will encourage interoperability on AI governance, standards, and testing frameworks. Both sides will also explore cooperation on AI testbeds and research collaboration on AI.
Singapore and the EU have a strong economic partnership, built on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), which came into effect in November 2019. The EU is Singapore’s fourth largest goods trading partner globally, with bilateral trade in goods totalling SG$ 102 billion (US$ 78.1 billion) in 2021, which accounted for 8.8% of Singapore’s total goods trade. The EU is also Singapore’s second-largest services trade partner globally, with bilateral trade in services exceeding SG$ 67 billion (US$ 51.3 billion). Investment relations are strong, with the EU being Singapore’s second-largest foreign investor and largest overseas investment destination.
Two tech companies operating under Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab have rolled out solutions that are now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution I – Heritage Conservation Platform
The company under the Lab has proposed a comprehensive solution for heritage conservation that encompasses data capture, 3D modelling, and online visualisation of realistically rendered models. It supports a variety of capturing sensors and raw data types, including camera images, LiDAR point clouds, and RGB-D data, and can be used with stationary, handheld, robotic, or UAV platforms. With high-precision modelling, realistic texturing and rendering, and a lightweight web-based visualisation platform, this solution is ideal for archiving, exhibiting, renovating, and educational purposes.
The solution was designed to be applied in the areas of City Management, Education, Infrastructure, Recreation and Culture as well as Tourism.
The solution employs the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Deep Learning, Mixed Reality as well as Virtual Reality.
In Hong Kong, there are 132 declared monuments and over 1000 historic buildings with significant heritage value. To safeguard and preserve this archaeological and architectural heritage, a comprehensive 3D surveying record is essential for future preservation and monitoring against potential damage or destruction.
Currently, LiDAR scanning and image records are widely used for digital preservation, but the disorganized data and large size make them difficult to use and constructing 3D models from raw scanning data is time-consuming and labour-intensive.
The company has developed a cutting-edge AI-assisted algorithm that can accurately convert raw captured data into 3D models at a cost-effective price. The structured 3D models have the advantage of low data volume, ease of access, and meaningful information for engineers. The solution offered is modular and covers the entire process from data collection to 3D model generation and online visualization, offering great flexibility.
To raise public awareness, promote participation, and enhance cultural tourism, the company provides a realistically rendered 3D model and a lightweight, web-browser-based visualization that can be accessed from anywhere and on any device.
Solution II – LifeOnline: Smart Personal Emergency System for Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officers face various dangers on a regular basis. LifeOnline is a tool that keeps officers, especially those working alone in remote areas, connected with their team. In emergency situations, officers can seek help from their supervisor by pressing an SOS button on their smartphone. If they encounter danger, such as falling from a height or a medical emergency, the smartwatch will notify their team.
Using long-range wireless communication technology, LoraWAN, officers can stay connected even in remote areas covered by the government’s GWIN IOT network. If necessary, portable LoraWAN gateways and concentrators can further extend network coverage. The compact size of the smartwatch allows it to be used as standard equipment for law enforcement officers in their daily operations.
The solution was designed to be applied across the areas of Health as well as Law and Security.
The solution employs the latest in Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as Mobile Technologies.
The officers are connected with their teams and could get help in dangerous and emergency situations.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY), Alkesh Kumar Sharma, inaugurated the G20 Cyber Security Exercise and Drill for over 400 domestic and international participants as part of India’s G20 presidency.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) held the Cyber Security Exercise and Drill in a hybrid format. International participants from over 12 countries participated online. Domestic participants from various sectors like finance, education, telecom, ports and shipping, energy, IT/ITeS, and others attended both in person and virtually.
Speaking at the event, Sharma highlighted the fact that cyber incidents are becoming increasingly sophisticated and disruptive. They have transnational impacts and there is a pressing need for collaboration to build collective resilience against cyberattacks.
Sivagami Sundari Nanda, the Special Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), stressed the importance of a government-wide response to address cyber challenges, including cooperation with law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally.
The event held a strategic tabletop exercise (TTX) and an operational drill using a CERT-In exercise platform. The first tabletop exercise catered to board and top management and was themed Synergy to counter Global Cyber Crisis. It focused on crisis management and crisis communication.
The second tabletop exercise, an operational drill was designed for CISO and mid-management, themed Building Collective Cyber Resilience. The scenario for the exercise, which included cyber extortion, data breach, supply chain attacks, and disruptions was derived from real-life cyber incidents, in which domestic-level (limited impact) incidents escalated to a global cyber security crisis. The exercises were successful in meeting their objectives and provided insights on enhancing and improving crisis management, crisis communication, incident response, and global coordination and cooperation.
Cybersecurity plays an increasingly important role as the world becomes more reliant on technology. Cybersecurity forms the backbone of a strong digital society, providing a trusted environment necessary to grow digital transformation and the confidence needed to advance digital adoption. Concurrently, strong cyber capability protects the economy from losses due to cybercrimes and builds the foundational capability to grow the emerging digital technology sector.
India has worked with several countries to build resilience against cyberattacks. Last year, CERT-In and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) designed and conducted the cybersecurity exercise “Synergy” for 13 countries. The initiative was part of the International Counter Ransomware Initiative-Resilience Working Group, which was led by India under the leadership of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
The theme of the exercise was ‘Building Network Resiliency to counter Ransomware Attacks’. Similar to the G20 cybersecurity drill, the exercise scenario was derived from real-life cyber incidents. As OpenGov Asia reported, the specific objective of the exercise was to assess, share, and improve strategies and practices among member-states to build network resiliency against ransomware and cyber extortion attacks.
The exercise ‘Synergy’ was hosted by CERT-In on its exercise simulation platform. Each state participated as a National Crisis Management Team, which was made up of different government agencies including National CERTs/CSIRTs, law enforcement agencies (LEA), communication and IT/ICT ministries, and security agencies.
CERT-In was launched in 2004 by the Department of Information Technology and is currently run under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. CERT-In responds to cybersecurity incidents, reports on network vulnerabilities, and fosters effective IT security practices throughout the country. Under the provisions of the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, CERT-In oversees the administration of the Act.
Market merchants in Quezon City, Philippines, can now apply for and book spaces and booths online using the Market One-Stop Shop platform (MOSS). According to City Administrator Michael Alimurung, the portal would identify “legal” vendor spaces free of impediments. It is also part of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte’s ambition of making the city a desirable business location.
With the new system, the city government promises a smooth application process for renting a stall, including payment and collection of market rentals. This will also make the city treasurer’s office’s job easier because they will no longer have to collect rent in person.
To ensure that the new system is widely adopted, the local administration put free Wi-Fi connection points in barangay halls and hundreds of other public venues. A caravan will be launched to assist existing and prospective vendors in registering with the platform.
“Imagine treating the entire city as a public market. This method allows us to locate vendor locations online. It’s thinking broader by allowing us to treat the entire city in terms of how to assist our vendors,” Alimurung told at a press conference at Quezon City Hall.
Margarita Santos, director of the Quezon City Business Permits and Licensing Office, stated that the system would not replace any positions, such as market masters or market managers, but would make their tasks easier.
She stated that the MOSS would use a “first in, first out” queuing system and offer a five-year contract to the first vendor that applied for the space or stand. However, if they cannot satisfy the requirements within a specific number of days, they will be returned to the bottom of the queue,” Santos noted.
Market inspectors will check IDs supplied to registered merchants to guarantee that the correct renters occupy registered booths. Currently, over 12,000 sellers occupy public market stalls in the city. Those are our objectives. In addition, we want to incorporate 43 private markets.
According to Santos, the MOSS would also assist in eliminating red tape and corruption, such as those who reserve marketplaces and then rent them out to other merchants. Because this is an online system, we have a digital trail that allows us to see where the application took too long, who is at fault and admonish them.
Santos added that the system would also record vendor transgressions, which might result in losing their registration area or stall. She stated that registered vendors would be queued online once these areas are full until free space becomes available.
Procopio Lipana, Programmes and Projects Officer, stated that the site would make it easier for the city government and other law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend unlawful sellers. Quezon City has an anti-hawker division and market inspectors who verify stall sizes and look for illicit merchants.
Indonesia is also working to improve digitisation in the conventional sector. Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade has targeted digitising 1,000 traditional markets and one million MSMEs as part of its digital transformation strategy. There are now 2,047 traditional markets that use local market websites through the Trade Facility Information System (TFIS), ten traditional markets that use digital marketing, and 51 conventional markets that operate QRIS for non-cash transactions.
According to Vice Minister of Trade Jerry Sambuaga, 326 traditional markets in 42 sub-districts have implemented e-retribution, 106,702 local traders, and 9.7 million MSME dealers have made non-cash transactions through QRIS.
The government of Indonesia’s digitalisation efforts have helped the country attain IDR980 trillion (US$ 63 billion), or 5.7% of GDP, by 2021. Indonesia’s GDP is predicted to reach IDR24 trillion (US$1.5 trillion) in 2030, with the digital economy accounting for 18% of GDP, or approximately IDR4,531 trillion (US$ 290 million).
Indonesia’s Central Bank (Bank Indonesia/BI) worked with five ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, to provide cross-border payment through QR. In a series of events at the G20 Bali Summit, the five ASEAN countries agreed on Regional Payment Digital Connectivity. The collaboration will make the Indonesian Standard Quick Response Code (QRIS) more widely available in five ASEAN countries.
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics welcomed the discussion. Usman Kansong, Director General of Information and Public Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemkominfo) asserted that the ministry supports efforts to integrate payment systems through QRIS ASEAN.
“Because it is related to the digital economy, Kominfo is very supportive; we will provide the infrastructure. For example, we are also putting together an internet network,” said Usman on the sidelines of Jakarta’s 2023 ASEAN Indonesia Chair Kick-Off event.
The five countries’ central banks have held discussions on various occasions to implement cross-border payment system connectivity in the region. Bank Indonesia began payment system connectivity cooperation with other central banks in the area, initially with five countries in the region.
The agreement will be documented as a memorandum of understanding (MOU). At the same time, this initiative demonstrates Indonesia’s regional leadership in implementing the G20 agreement.
Regional Payment Digital Connection among 5 ASEAN Countries, according to Governor of Bank Indonesia (BI) Perry Warjiyo, is a physical representation of how digital connectivity in ASEAN is an example for other countries to help economic recovery in each country regionally.
“Wherever we go in these five ASEAN countries, we can utilise QR payment, QRIS in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, and it will be a rapid payment system, instantly,” Perry explained.
Meanwhile, according to Esther Sri Astuti Soeryaningrum from an economic and finance NGO, the introduction of QRIS will aid financial integration in ASEAN. At the same time, there are still some hurdles to tackle. However, she mentioned that QRIS, as a non-cash transaction method, can help collaborating countries make cross-border payments easier without needing a money changer.
“With QRIS, we don’t have to worry about converting rupiah currency for other currencies, and we don’t have to do cash transactions, which are riskier and require a higher level of security,” she explained.
Moreover, the Indonesia Central Bank (Bank Indonesia/BI) expanded its payment cooperation network with Japan in December. The signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (NK) addressing QR-based payment by BI and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI). Dody B. Waluyo, Deputy Governor of BI, stated that the partnership on QR-based payment between BI and METI Japan would be a key concern for regulatory authorities and industry, given that the NK in question has the potential to strengthen economic relations between Indonesia and Japan.
The QR-based payment collaboration aims to accelerate cooperation on the implementation and interoperability of cross-border or country payments using QR codes, specifically the QR Code Indonesian Standard (QRIS) and the Japan Unified QR Code (JPQR). Furthermore, this collaboration will create a framework that permits QR-based payments between the two countries and other parties, such as payment system operators (SP).
The agreement marks the beginning of BI and METI Japan’s collaboration to carry out various activities related to the interconnectivity of QR-based payment systems, such as policy dialogue, technical cooperation, and the formation of working groups to ensure goals are met, such as efforts to implement QR-based cross-border payments to support people-to-people transactions in both countries. This collaboration is expected to promote payment system digitisation in both Indonesia and Japan.
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States (U.S.) have developed biosensors to detect the presence of or predisposition to various illnesses, including cancer. A novel biosensor chip with an accurate and low-cost architecture may enhance access to high-quality examinations.
The capacity to detect these signs, called biomarkers, enables medical practitioners to make vital early diagnoses and give individualised therapies. Because traditional screening procedures might be time-consuming, costly, or limited in what they can reveal, they also combined the biosensors with extremely low-power FET Internet of Things (IoT) devices to boost the sensors’ responsiveness. The FET was created at CEA-LETI to amplify signals in smartwatches, personal assistants, and other gadgets.
“This is a scalable technique. In principle, we can integrate hundreds, if not thousands, of sensors in an area of one square millimetre into a console the size of a smartphone, which is far less burdensome than some of the latest equipment used in the clinic,” said NIST researcher Arvind Balijepalli, a co-author of the new study developed by researchers at NIST Brown University and the French government-funded research institute CEA-Leti.
The researchers reported the results of a study that proves the device’s excellent sensitivity and precision despite its modularity, which is commonly associated with decreased performance, in a paper recently uploaded online from the 2018 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting.
The biosensor recognises biomarkers by detecting how DNA threads bond to the device. Its modular architecture distinguishes it from related sensors, lowering costs by making mass production more accessible and allowing the most expensive parts to be reused.
Like other DNA biosensors, the device makes use of the fact that a single DNA strand is ready for chemical bonding when it is not coupled with another within the recognisable double helix. Instead, a portion of the device has single strands of DNA coated on it. When these “probes” come into contact with DNA biomarkers with a matched or complementary genetic sequence, the two strands join, sending a signal that the gadget detects.
When a strand of target DNA binds to a probe, it causes a voltage shift that may be measured using a semiconductor device called a field-effect transistor (FET). As the molecules pop on and off the sensor, these voltage shifts can occur hundreds of times per second. This method tells you whether a DNA strand is attached to a probe and how long it takes to connect and disengage.
Improving signal detection
FET-based methods have yet to hit the mainstream, however. A significant stumbling block is their single-use nature, which has now seemed necessary but has increased its cost. The signal gets harder to measure because of the electrical signal’s noise when they must travel longer within electronics.
DNA probes in FET-based sensors usually are attached to the transistor directly, which converts the signal into readable data and limits noise. But the probes and whole device signal are weaker after exposure to a sample. Then they utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) FET to accommodate the losses. The NIST authors paired their circuitry with a specific type of low-power FET developed at CEA-LETI that is used in smartwatches, personal assistants, and other devices to amplify signals and compensate for the lost sensitivity.
The researchers found that the binding kinetics were sensitive enough to make accurate measurements even at low concentrations. Overall, the modular design performed similarly to integrated, nonmodular FET-based biosensors. The modular design performed similarly to integrated, nonmodular FET-based biosensors. The next step in their research is determining if their sensor can perform similarly with varying DNA sequences caused by mutations. Because many diseases are caused or exacerbated by altered DNA, this skill is critical for clinical diagnosis.