Data is increasingly at the core of any business or organisation and is fuelling new digital transformation initiatives. As data becomes more distributed, dynamic and diverse, its availability has never been more essential for effective and holistic data management and protection strategy. The importance of data availability and accessibility anytime and anywhere is even more pronounced in the current crisis. This is especially true for organisations engaged in providing mission-critical, customer-centric services.
Enterprises are facing new demands from their customers in these unprecedented times. Legacy backup cannot meet these requirements and cannot deliver the availability that is needed to keep the operations running. Accurate data protection and recovery are essential for successful mission-critical applications. Efficient access to data is essential and is necessary to improve organisational productivity.
Whether it is a natural disaster or a cyberattack, organisations need the resilience to bounce back quickly. So, what can organisations do now to prepare for a worst-case scenario? What if a backup fails to restore? What if the planned disaster recovery does not turn out to be what was expected? Against this backdrop, cloud is the inescapable future. Enterprise IT environments are no longer solely based on physical servers and workloads. Many projects have migrated to cloud platforms where security and control of data are paramount.
Indonesia is actively embracing the adoption of cloud-based technology, which is an essential tool to deal with the vast amounts of data and to build innovative products, offerings, and customer-centric services.
With the absolute necessity of cloud, multiple variants of cloud environment – such as public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud – have emerged to manage vast streams of data. While traditional on-premises data storage remains, the use of cloud and cloud-based services will keep organisations ahead of the game.
At a time when innovation is racing ahead, enterprises need the speed and agility to achieve cost efficiency, business resilience, exceptional customer experiences and run operations for decades to come. Security and governance are of paramount importance. In the current volatile environment, the success of any organisation is dependent on the strength of its IT infrastructure. Data protection, data mobility, data portability and data agility are the key considerations while ensuring its availability across any application or cloud infrastructure.
This Virtual Breakfast Insight held on 18 November 2021 aimed at imparting knowledge on effective and efficient data management and how to ensure data availability, accessibility, and protection across any cloud environment and on-prem.
The session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical solutions to go beyond just managing data, but to make it smarter and more self-governing while ensuring its availability, portability and recovery across any application or infrastructure.
Embracing a new culture and embracing the inevitable challenges of data protection and recovery
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia, kicked off the session with his opening address.
The pandemic heralded significant changes in culture and perspective. The world will not the same again – there is a line that has been drawn: pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. This has tremendous implications on the way businesses – and indeed the world – run.
Strategies deployed in late 2020 and early 2021 were, for the most part, ‘band-aid technologies” that helped to make sure there was continuity, says Mohit. Over time, organisations have learned lessons and tweaked their strategies, gradually gaining more control.
With remote work increasingly being the norm, providing secure access to a distributed workforce is essential if organisations are to make work from home a reality. They need to embrace the challenges of this new model while ensuring that the copious amount of data stored on the cloud is highly secure.
From a supplier or service point of view, it is essential to genuinely understand customers’ needs and provide suitable solutions without violating privacy rights.
The fact is, data can reside on a plethora of platforms – on-premises, the cloud, a hybrid option or even within containers. But Mohit asks, “Do organisations actually know where the data is and the criticality of the data?
At this critical juncture, organisations need to take a closer look to understand data architecture, know where data is stored and what the vulnerabilities could be. For Mohit “protection is an investment” because the odds are that every organisation will face a cyber attack at some point.
“You will get hit, it is going to happen,” he asserts. ”The question is, what is your recovery strategy and how are you managing your data?”
Where there is business growth, there will be threats. With a wider cyber surface and more access points, exposure and risks are magnified.
Closing his address, he strongly recommends delegates seek out partnerships and work with technology experts to build the infrastructures that will allow their organisations to thrive. It ultimately is in an organisations’ interest to let the experts do what they do best – this not only allows the best systems and infrastructure to be put in place but also frees up the organisation’s staff to concentrate on the business and focus on driving growth.
Protecting and securing data in a cloud-first future
Dave Russell, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy, Office of the CTO, Veeam, spoke next on strategies to manage cloud data and protection.
In the last 12 months, Veeam has done four out of the six largest data protection and recovery surveys. Based on Veeam’s studies, it is obvious that hosting data on virtual machines with hyper-scale capabilities or regional service providers will accelerate. The trends are incredibly linear – what people thought they would do, they did, says Dave.
When surveyed about the reasons for protecting M365, the number one reason is the accidental deletion of data, followed closely by preparation against cybersecurity attacks.
“We are likely to be hit by cyberattacks,” he concedes. “Knowing that, we need to prepare for adverse cyber events.”
In this context, he points out that containers are being deployed and that it is something that organisations will need to think about. Containers may not feel like an open system, but the truth is that most organisations are already using containers.
According to the Veeam survey, there is a disparity between the IaaS admins and the SaaS/PaaS ones. The admin personnel are not always aware of the production capability even though organisations are well ahead in the use of containers.
“Cyber threats are not going away,” Dave firmly states.
According to him, the industry practices the mantra of having three or more different copies on two media, one of which is off-site. One of the copies should be offline, air-gapped or immutable and have zero errors after automated backup testing and recovery.
There are several interesting observations about server platforms. A current trend that is on the rise is to reduce physical servers within the data centre. In fact, surveys indicate that plans to reduce physical servers are running ahead of schedule, meeting the reduction goals a year early.
Secondly, while projected to be flat or the same, Virtual Machines on-premise have declined. There are virtual servers within the data centres.
The third trend is that of cloud-hosted Virtual Machines. While it was predicted to increase from 32% to 41% over 2 years, actual usage is already at 47% currently and projected to be 52% (a 11% gain over and above the gain realised in the last year).
An area of increasing concern is ransomware, against which protection is of vital importance – as can be seen from the numerous high-profile cases in recent times. Veeam’s strategy is to protect, manage and unleash so that users can leverage their data through data portability, cloud mobility and instant recovery. By ensuring data availability and agility, business acceleration can take place.
From his experience, he concludes that utilising Veeam offers a better data experience that, in turn, improves the customer experience. Overall, it enables organisations to deliver new customer and partner products and services while retaining and upskilling staff and optimising costs.
Protecting data and extracting maximum value from your data
Matt Taylor, Head of Partner Success Solution Architecture, Amazon Web Services, Asia-Pacific, and Japan, elaborated on protecting data and extracting the most value from Amazon Web Service (AWS) Storage.
AWS has been helping enterprises (governments and businesses) increase agility, accelerate innovation, drive new revenue streams, strengthen security and reduce costs for 13 years. With AWS, customers are building backup and restore capabilities, archival and compliance, home directories, data lakes, modern apps and business-critical applications.
In the current model, organisations likely have a server that they need to backup via a storage array and a backup appliance. Thereafter, the data gets sent to an offsite tape vault. However, this model does not scale very well – organisations will need to estimate how much storage space is needed and purchase the capacity ahead of time.
For Matt, they are complicated to maintain and they have inflexible recovery options making it difficult to recoup. Additionally, the system leaves the data siloed and difficult to access or derive value from.
With an existing backup solution such as Veeam, data gets moved into storage and into a Tape Gateway which will send the data to Amazon S3 – which is available, durable and scalable. With a system like this, organisations no longer need to maintain the tape or move that data to a tape facility.
Matt explained that AWS and Veeam are reliable when it comes to disaster recovery. If organisations backup the data over Amazon S3 using Veeam, data can be rehydrated using EC2 Instance in the cloud. Once on-premises infrastructure returns organisations can also stay in the cloud – it would also be a great way to migrate the data to cloud.
“Customers want more value from their data,” Matt asserts. “Because the data is growing exponentially from new sources, increasingly diverse data formats, used by many people within the organisations and analysed by many applications.”
Many organisations have traditional data warehousing approaches that do not scale well. While most businesses claim to have a data warehouse, what is typically observed is a data silo with existing systems (OLTP, ARPs, CRMs etc.) and they run analytics and business intelligence. They may have another data silo by another team in another part of the business taking data from various sources, Matt concedes. But the fact is, in such a scenario, organisations do not have a full view of data about their customers.
For Matt, this is where a data lake comes into the picture. Backing up data with Veeam over S3 into a data lake allows organisations to collect, centralise and cleanse their data so that they can run full data analytics across the whole organisation and extract data. That data can also be used to train machine learning models by automating tasks.
Amazon has been doing this for over 20 years. Through recommendation engines and personalised services, they can sell 4000 products per minute; robotics in the fulfilment centres and logistics has allowed them to ship 1.6 million packages every day.
According to a study, if a typical Fortune 100 company made more than 10% of their data more accessible, the company would see a 65 million increase in net income, 415% RoI and 48% reduction in the total cost of operations.
In summary, Matt shares three core business outcomes that AWS can deliver:
- Improved operational efficiency: Increase agility, run the business more efficiently and provide a better experience for customers by moving data to the cloud
- Make more informed decisions: Inform business decision making with more meaningful insights by bringing together the full picture of data across the organisation.
- Accelerate innovation: Unlocks opportunities that were either too difficult or impossible to do before by automating processes with AI and machine learning.
Matt concludes by stating that AWS improves operations, marketing optimisation, customer experience and application development – all of which are based on the experiences of Amazon’s own use cases that have accelerated the growth of their e-commerce platform.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences, and facilitate discussions that impart professional learning and development for participants.
In the first poll, delegates were asked about their organisation’s expectation on recovery time and recovery points, should there be a cyberattack, disruption, corruption or disaster. An overwhelming number of the delegates (68%) indicated that they want to get back in less than 1 hour without any loss of transaction or data, while the rest could accept waiting for up to 4 hours with data losses and downtime (32%).
Dave remarked that the number of applications required to keep business alive is tremendous; in fact, applications that have become mission-critical have tripled or even quadrupled. Today, if email were not available, people would lose their minds – something that was unthinkable 15 years ago.
In that case, Matt adds, making these applications exceptionally durable and secure becomes key. With the right architecture and infrastructure, some recovery can be done almost immediately.
Andrew added that while having the technology to recover is paramount, the maturity of the business to understand what is the most critical to recovering, with the greatest impact on the business is as important.
Mohit agreed with Andrew and says that while applications have become more critical, not everything is 100% critical – there has to be prioritisation.
The next question inquired what delegates thought was the most concerning (potential) impact of downtime. Most of the delegates selected reputational damage (47%), followed by loss of customer confidence (41%) and regulatory action (12%).
“Customers have many options today,” Mohit warns delegates. “If a business is down or unavailable, customers will readily explore other options to get what they want.”
Dave concurs that with customers, reputational damage is the first concern. The perspective that organisations must have though, is that the “customer” is internal, external and partners. “You have to satisfy requests fast or suffer,” he opines.
On how confident delegates are that their organisation’s data/workload can move securely across platforms/cloud, most delegates selected fairly sure (67%). The rest of the delegates were divided between very confident (17%), not confident (11%) and uncertain (5%).
For Mohit, the move to the cloud is inevitable and believes that IT is the best investment that people can do, “It is going to be a multi-hybrid cloud strategy that you have to deploy and keep secure; you will need the right tech and the right people to do it well.”
Dave believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Matt added that organisations can leverage solution architects who know how to manoeuvre to help organisations. A lot of the tech built is because Amazon needed the use case; now they know how to solve problems.
When asked about the most concerning factor for delegates when they are in a vendor lock-in situation, most delegates selected limited technology options and were unable to adopt best-of-breed available in the market (36%), portability and agility of data/workload (21%), inability/difficult to exit when technology reaches “End of Life” (22%), and commercial disadvantage during the negotiation (14%).
Matt acknowledges that organisations are worried about getting locked into propriety technology that they cannot move away from. He advises putting data into platforms where organisations can control and move data in and out as they wish.
Andrew added that things are changing so rapidly that making a three-to-five-year infrastructure decision that is locked in will not allow organisations the agility to change and may hold an organisation back in adopting new technology.
On the area of interest for delegates’ organisation and what delegates value the most, an overwhelming majority selected delivering business resiliency through highly available applications and workloads (79%), the rest of the delegates selected visibility into cross-system data and infrastructure to identify unexpected changes and potential risks (7%), ease of doing business through simplified technology consumption model (7%) and tools that can delivery automation in areas like compliance and data classification(7%).
Dave shared that staff in Veeam’s support centres are constantly managing situations where organisations are hit by cyber-attacks.
“It will not diminish over time,” Dave says. “It is not a question of ‘if’ but ’when’. Organisations must pre-empt and prepare for cyber threats.”
On being asked what they thought will be their organisation’s biggest challenge when faced with a ransomware attack, most delegates were concerned about their customers’ confidence in the company (46%). The rest of the delegates were split between the challenges of backup copy being compromised (36%) and the long time required to recover data from backup (18%).
Mohit feels that the loss of customers’ confidence is a result of the backup copy being compromised and the long time taken to recover data. Customer confidence is the driver, and data protection and recovery strategies are vital.
In closing, Habisanti, Country Manager, Veeam Indonesia thanked all the delegates for their participation and insights on the topic. She reiterated the importance of data protection and recovery for operations as organisations embrace digital transformation. The needs of the time require new strategies, models and technological adoption – it is part of the fabric of current reality.
Before signing off, Habisanti encouraged delegates to continue to have conversations about the ever-evolving technology landscape. She invited the delegates to reach out to her and the team if they had any queries or wanted to explore ways to collaborate.
The country has established the Indonesian Aviation Sector Computer Security Incident Response Team (IAS-CSIRT) to strengthen cybersecurity. The team will report to the Ministry of Transportation’s Director General of Air Transportation.
To anticipate system vulnerabilities, identify opportunities for bad actors to exploit, and reduce the risk of cyber incident threats, the aviation sector required a dedicated cybersecurity team. The CSIRT will regularly publish information on vulnerabilities, security, and new technology trends. The team is also prepared to face various escalating challenges. Members of the CSIRT will be trained through cyber drills and workshops.
The team is in charge of receiving, reviewing, and responding to cyber incident reports and activities with the function of providing reactive services by performing incident coordination, incident triage, and incident resolution.
During the IAS-CSIRT inaugural speech, the Deputy for Cybersecurity and Economic Cryptography of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), Markos, said that the aviation industry increasingly relies on digital technology for flight operations, ground services, communications navigation and surveillance, airport infrastructure, air traffic management, and supply chain.
Therefore, cybercrime prevention and management are crucial for many parties, including aviation service providers. F. Budi Prayitno, the Director of Aviation Security at the Ministry of Transportation, outlined the importance of cyber defence since cybercrime has resulted in considerable losses across sectors. “Effective cyber-crime prevention and management necessitate the collaboration of various cyber security stakeholders who already have a CSIRT,” said Budi. The BSSN contributed to the formation of the IAS-CSIRT.
Markos hopes that the IAS-CSIRT will be able to collaborate, synergise, and share information with various stakeholders and other cybersecurity constituencies in Indonesia, particularly in the handling and recovery of cyber incidents.
BSSN wants other sectors to form a CSIRT as well. The IAS-CSIRT was established for the first time (IIV) following the issuance of Presidential Regulation 82 of 2022 concerning the Protection of Vital Information Infrastructure. Sector IIV prioritises the CSIRT because it manages various strategic information assets related to community survival, national stability, and sovereignty.
Before the inauguration, BSSN signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and cooperation agreement with state-owned Aviasi Wisata Indonesia (InJourney Group) to support the tourism industry. In addition, cooperation on information protection and electronic transactions intends to improve the quality of information protection and electronic commerce.
The agreement’s scope includes information and communication technology security, the use of electronic certificates to improve electronic transaction security, the improvement and development of human resources, the exchange of information, and cybersecurity campaigns and literacy.
At the signing ceremony, the Head of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), Hinsa Siburian, emphasised the importance of synergy and collaboration to recover the Indonesian aviation and tourism industry through a reliable and safe digital transformation.
Furthermore, between January and November 2022, BSSN detected over 1.14 million traffic anomalies across all InJourney Group assets. BSSN said the most anomalies were discovered in August, with 235,742 events.
The collaboration is expected to make digital information transactions and exchanges more secure and leak-proof. The rapid advancement of digital technology presents an opportunity for Injourney to gain trust and confidence in the Indonesian tourism industry. However, as a result, it must be balanced with maximum data, information, and electronic transaction security.
China Provincial Development and Reform Commission announced the list of the second batch of digital transformation promotion centres in Liaoning Province. There are 13 additional provincial-level digital transformation promotion centres to help small and medium-sized enterprises improve transformation capabilities, reduce transformation costs, and shorten transformation cycles. There are currently 29 digital transformation promotion centres in the province, in addition to the previously announced first batch of lists.
The centres will assist the government in promoting digital construction in Liaoning and cultivating a digital transformation ecology. The programme is under the construction of the second batch of digital transformation promotion centres in Liaoning Province according to the Provincial Development and Reform Commission. The listed enterprises in this programme are based on self-declaration and recommendations from provincial and municipal departments. Experts then review the voluntary requests before being finalised and publicised.
According to the Provincial Development and Reform Commission, the digital transformation promotion centre should fully integrate resources to assist small and medium-sized enterprises.
The province government will provide transformation tools, products, technologies, and customised solutions to support business digital transformation and development. The centre promotes traditional businesses, internet platform enterprises, industry platform enterprises and financial institutions.
The government also promotes collaborative innovation in industries, education, medical care, employment, elderly care, and other fields. Companies participating in the programme will use the projects as a starting point to develop digital technology application scenarios. Participants in the programme are also permitted to complete personnel training with universities and colleges and vocational training and education.
The Provincial Development and Reform Commission will regularly evaluate provincial-level digital transformation promotion centres. The results will be used to recommend applicants for national-level digital transformation promotion centres.
China is currently driving the country’s digital economy. In early November, the General Office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the “Guidelines for the Digital Transformation of SMEs.” The regulation aims to fully implement the Party Central Committee’s and State Council’s decision-making deployment to encourage SMEs to improve their overall strength and core competitiveness through digital transformation.
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, stated that “small and medium-sized enterprises can do great things.” He also emphasised the importance of grasping the direction of digitisation, networking, and intelligence. Moreover, promoting the digitisation of manufacturing, service industries, agriculture, and other industries is also necessary.
The guidelines aim to implement Party Central Committee and State Council decision-making and deployment, strengthen policy coordination, strengthen scientific guidance, deepen transformation awareness, and gather work synergy. The report also needed to promote high-quality economic development through the digital transformation of small and medium-sized businesses. The effort also had to be consistent with the overall economic and social digital transformation trend.
Furthermore, China will use the guidance to increase specialisation and new development of small and medium-sized businesses. The government intends to expand the use of digital technology in various sectors, including research, production, supply, marketing, and clothing. They plan to empower and refine products, increase value, plus accelerate technological innovation and new development in small and medium-sized businesses.
Another role of guidance is strengthening the digital transformation system and the comprehensive path of small and medium-sized businesses. Digital transformation is a multifaceted, cross-cutting project. The guidelines thus aid transformation from the demand side, the supply side, and local governments at all levels. All interested parties can use the guidelines to clarify their positioning and path and strengthen the collective force of transformation.
Indonesia has great ambitions for its digital economy and has deployed strategies to achieve its ambitions with a goal to reach USD315 billion by 2030. The 2021-2024 Indonesia Digital Roadmap is set on 4 pillars, namely digital infrastructure, digital government, digital economy and digital society.
As part of its strategy, the government is promoting four important digital skills to accelerate its digital economy. The government believes that the future demand for digital skills will be focused on four areas Artificial Intelligence, Bitcoin, Cloud Computing, and Data Analytics (ABCD). The ABCD skills are projected to help the national economy hit its US$315 billion by 2030 target.
Therefore, the Indonesian government is encouraging young people to start businesses through a variety of free programs such as Beta School, 1,000 Startup Movement, Startup Studio, HUB.ID and IGDX.
“Aside from university disciplines, the ABCD is becoming increasingly important for everyone. I believe that all young people require ABCD,” stated Dedy Permadi, Expert Staff of the Minister of Communication and Informatics, in a discussion forum.
Mastering ABCD technical hard skills apart, Indonesian digital talents are also expected to be proficient in non-technical or soft skills known as the 4C’s, which are Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Communication.
The Director of SDPPI Kominfo, Ismail, expressed his hope that the young generation in Indonesia would capture the golden opportunity for digitalisation. Digitalisation will transform Indonesia from a consumer country to a prominent player in the new normal.
The government recognises the importance of good infrastructure support in boosting the digital economy. As a result, the government is working to ensure an equitable distribution of internet connection networks across Indonesia, particularly in frontier, remote, and underdeveloped (3T) areas.
According to Ismail, the development of ICT infrastructure must meet three criteria: broad coverage, the deployment of a fibre-optic cable network on the backbone, and affordability, which means that the price is reasonable for the community.
Private operators focus on developing infrastructure in high-demand urban areas and, as a result, the digital divide between cities and towns has grown wider. Consequently, the government is beginning to develop 3T telecommunications in rural, underserved areas.
“We cannot rely solely on private-sector investment. To speed up and accelerate digital transformation, the government must invest in infrastructure,” Ismail said emphatically.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Agency and Telecommunications and Information Accessibility (BAKTI) have also worked to improve and expand internet access for public services throughout Indonesia. BAKTI is working with telecommunications companies to build Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in remote areas of Indonesia.
“We hope to finish building BTS in all remote areas by 2023 and connect them to the 4G network,” Deddy stated.
Indonesia is a vast archipelagic country. So, relying solely on fibre optic cable networks will make it difficult to provide connectivity. As a result, the government is combining the fibre optic cable network constructed with the 150 Gbps SATRIA 1 satellite.
This multifunctional satellite can provide internet access to 150,000 public service locations in Indonesia, including educational institutions, local governments, defence and security administration, and health facilities. This satellite is scheduled to launch in 2023.
The government has begun construction of the first National Data Centre in the Delta Mas Region, GIIC, Cikarang District, Bekasi Regency, West Java Province, in connection with its digital strategy. It will then gradually expand data centres in Nongsa Digital Park in Batam, Riau Archipelago, the new National Capital City (IKN) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, and Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.
The creation of this government data centre is intended to promote efficiency, effectiveness, state data sovereignty, and national data consolidation as part of the One Data Indonesia initiative. “This (data centre) is critical because government data management is critical to developing society’s transformation into a digital society,” Deddy said.
The National Single Window System (NSWS) currently accepts applications for 248 government-to-business (G3B) clearances from 26 central ministries and departments, in addition to state-level clearances in 16 states and union territories.
The portal is rapidly gaining traction among the investor community and as of date has over 370,000 unique visitors. Since its launch last year, more than 44,000 approvals have been facilitated on the portal and over 28,000 approvals are currently under process. Over time, the portal will onboard more approvals and licenses, based on user and industry feedback. According to a press release, the government is committed to reforming the system, making it a more conducive environment for business and investment.
In 2021, NSWS was soft-launched to all stakeholders and the public by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal. NSWS was created by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), following the government’s decision to create an Investment Clearance Cell (ICC). NSWS is a single platform that allows investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses to identify, apply for, track, and obtain approvals and clearances.
The system aims to reduce duplicities in information submission and compliance burden and promote sector-specific reforms and schemes. It reduces the gestation period of projects and strives to promote the ease of starting and doing business.
The release informed that the Know Your Approvals (KYA) service is live on NSWS with 544 approvals across 32 central ministries and departments and 2,895 approvals across 30 states and union territories. A total of 3,439 approvals are listed. A total of 132,510 investors have used the KYA module to find out the type of approvals they need for their businesses. 26 ministries and departments were onboarded with 248 approvals live. The 16 states and union territories onboarded on the platform are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The teams are working to integrate five more states by 15 December, namely Haryana, Andaman Nicobar, Tripura, Jharkhand, and Arunachal Pradesh. To date, a total of 71,000 approvals have been applied on the portal. The system has recorded visitors from 157 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. The release said that the remaining eight ministries and departments will be onboarded by the end of the year.
A review of the progress and status of NSWS is set to happen on 5 December with ministries, states, union territories, and industry representatives. In this regard, preparatory meetings have been held to discuss the integration status of various regions and departments. These meetings have witnessed active participation from the stakeholders, the release noted. DPIIT and Invest India have been proactively holding regular reviews with the ministries, states, and industry associations in the process of setting up the NSWS to ensure an inclusive approach to evolving the national portal. Over 150 participants from states and ministries have participated in the review meetings.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) affirmed its strategic co-incubation partnership with a Canada-focused venture capital firm to identify promising international start-ups seeking to expand their innovation journey to Hong Kong, into the GBA and beyond.
With a proven track record in life science start-ups, the VC firm will work with HKSTP to build an inbound stream of early and mid-stage ventures. The co-incubation programme aims to bring several strong-performing ventures to Hong Kong with a focus on biotech, but also on other deep-tech areas such as ESG, advanced materials, edutech and AI.
To date, as Hong Kong’s largest technological ecosystem, HKSTP has helped accelerate growth for hundreds of outstanding start-ups, raising over HK$80.2 billion in total funding in the past five years. During the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the total valuation of HKSTP’s acceleration programme start-ups grew over 250% while total investment funds raised have also doubled.
The partnership with the VC firm is the most recent of HKSTP’s series of strategic co-incubation programmes with global market leaders in the industry, investment, R&D and academia, which further elevate Hong Kong’s innovation and technology (I&T) ecosystem strength as a global springboard to success.
Riding on Hong Kong’s thriving biotech market and the city’s status as the world’s second-largest biotech fundraising hub, the co-incubation partnership also recognises HKSTP’s impact and success in building a vibrant biotech ecosystem in Hong Kong.
The Head of Incubation and Acceleration Programmes at HKSTP stated that the co-incubation partnership with an international player like the partnering firm validates Hong Kong’s unique and growing status as a global I&T hub helping international start-ups go beyond borders in their global growth journey.
She noted that with a pipeline of seed stage and series A start-up’s already in place, this proves the strength of the HKSTP innovation ecosystem and confirms that Hong Kong is open again for global business and an ideal launchpad for high-growth tech ventures seeking GBA, regional and global expansion.
The Managing Partner of the VC firm stated that the signing of this co-incubation agreement will allow the two parties to incubate and introduce promising global start-ups to scale their businesses in Asia. The firm will continue to leverage its unique cross-pacific networks and investment niches in transformative life science technologies to enrich Hong Kong’s innovation ecosystem with more ground-breaking technologies from North American start-ups.
The programme features co-incubation activities ranging from business development, consulting and training to mentoring sessions for qualified overseas start-ups. Participating entrepreneurs will also create proofs-of-concept and pilot initiatives.
The start-ups will tap into the investment and international business network reach of the firm while also formally joining the HKSTP innovation ecosystem to access product validation, commercialisation and go-to-market expertise from HKSTP and its wider network of partners.
Specialising in investing globally in science and technology-based start-ups, the VC firm has been active in Hong Kong and Asia with its specific focus on nurturing start-ups that aspire to expand to China and Asia. In 2019 it facilitated eight Canadian start-ups from prestigious start-up programmes to come to Hong Kong to gain deeper insights into strategic landing tactics and expansion into the Asian markets. This latest partnership with HKSTP has forged a new level of commitment to the Hong Kong I&T ecosystem.
The Counter Ransomware Task Force (CRTF), which was formed to bring together Singapore Government agencies from various domains to strengthen Singapore’s counter-ransomware efforts, has issued its report.
Singapore’s efforts to promote a resilient and secure cyber environment, both domestically and internationally, to combat the rising ransomware threat are guided by the recommendations in the CRTF report.
According to David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity, Chief Executive of CSA and Chairman of the CRTF, ransomware poses a threat to both businesses and individuals. Economically, socially, and even in terms of national security, it can be detrimental. Both internationally and across domains, ransomware is a problem.
“It requires us to collaborate and draw on our knowledge in a variety of fields, including cybersecurity, law enforcement, and financial supervision. It also necessitates that we work with like-minded international partners to identify a common problem and develop solutions,” David explains.
He exhorts businesses and individuals to contribute as well, strengthening the nation’s overall defence against the ransomware scourge.
Cybercriminals use malicious software known as ransomware. When ransomware infects a computer or network, it either locks the system or encrypts the data on it. For the release of the data, cybercriminals demand ransom money from their victims.
A vigilant eye and security software are advised to prevent ransomware infection. Following an infection, malware victims have three options: either they can pay the ransom, attempt to remove the malware, or restart the device.
Extortion Trojans frequently employ the Remote Desktop Protocol, phishing emails, and software vulnerabilities as their attack vectors. Therefore, a ransomware attack can target both people and businesses.
The ransomware threat has significantly increased in scope and effect, and it is now a pressing issue for nations all over the world, including Singapore.
The fact that attackers operate internationally to elude justice makes it a global issue. Ransomware has created a criminal ecosystem that offers criminal services ranging from unauthorised access to targeted networks to money laundering services, all fed by illicit financial gains.
Singapore must approach the ransomware issue as a cross-border and cross-domain problem if it is to effectively combat the ransomware threat.
Other nations should adopt comparable domestic measures to coordinate their financial regulatory, law enforcement, and cybersecurity agencies to combat the ransomware issue and promote international cooperation.
Three significant results were the culmination of the CRTF’s work. For government agencies to collaborate and create anti-ransomware solutions, they first developed a comprehensive understanding of the ransomware kill chain.
Second, it examined Singapore’s stance on paying ransom to cybercriminals. Third, for the government to effectively combat ransomware, the CRTF suggested the following policies, operational plans, and capabilities under four main headings:
Pillar 1: Enhances the security of potential targets (such as government institutions, critical infrastructure, and commercial organisations, especially small and medium-sized businesses) to make it more difficult for ransomware attackers to carry out successful attacks.
Pillar 2: To lower the reward for ransomware attacks, disrupt the ransomware business model.
Pillar 3: To prevent ransomware attack victims from feeling pressured to pay the ransom, which feeds the ransomware industry, support recovery.
Pillar 4: Assemble a coordinated international strategy to combat ransomware by cooperating with international partners. Singapore should concentrate on and support efforts to promote international cooperation in three areas that have been identified by the CRTF: law enforcement, anti-money laundering measures, and discouraging ransom payments.
The appropriate government agencies will take the recommendations of the CRTF under consideration for additional research and action.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) announced it would roll out Internet advertising management measures at a conference in Hanoi earlier this week. Participants at the event discussed how advertising in cyberspace has become the norm. Domestic and foreign firms choose it because it is easier to access customers and it offers flexible costs and larger reach. However, the limited management of ads poses potential risks to the safety of brands, the Ministry has said.
According to a press release by MIC, ad agents affirmed that without the cooperation of cross-border platforms in modifying algorithms to filter and censor content, ad violations will remain rampant. The Ministry will penalise agents and brands that cooperate with platforms that do not fall in line with MIC regulations. On the other hand, the Ministry will support ads on domestic and foreign digital platforms that comply with domestic laws, MIC’s Deputy Minister, Nguyen Thanh Lam, noted. This will protect brands and build a healthy, safe, and fair ad business environment.
The Ministry will also increase inspection and clampdown on violations of Internet ads activities, he said. Cross-border ad firms that fail to comply with Vietnam’s laws will not be allowed to operate in the country. MIC has also generated a Whitelist consisting of licensed e-newspapers, magazines, general information websites, and social media. Other websites, registered accounts, and information channels are also in the pipeline for the list, the release said. The list will be publicised on the portals of the Ministry and Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information. Ad service providers, agents, and brands were also urged to use the list for their work.
Nearly 80% of the population in Vietnam are digital consumers, as OpenGov Asia reported earlier in October. Over the past year, the average contribution of e-commerce to total retail has continued to grow at 15%. Higher than growth in India (10%) and China (4%), with an online-to-total retail share of 6%. Now that the world is in the post-pandemic stage, regional consumers are prioritising an integrated shopping experience, combining online and in-person services. During the ‘discovery’ phase of their shopping, 84% of Vietnamese shoppers use the Internet to browse and find items. This is a period when they use more platforms than ever before, with the dominance of the e-commerce market accounting for 51% of online spending.
At the same time, social networking sites account for nearly half of online discoveries, including images (16%), social media videos (22%), and related tools such as messaging (9%). These tools were paramount channels for 44% of survey respondents. Consumers’ openness to interaction and experimentation has also led to behavioural changes, with 64% of respondents saying they have interacted with a business account in the past year. As customers seek more engagement, the content creation economy is able to grow exponentially.
In the context of digital consumption, Vietnamese users switch brands more often and increase the number of platforms they use to find a better value, with 22% of online orders made on various e-commerce platforms. The number of online platforms Vietnamese consumers use has doubled from 8 in 2021 to 16 in 2022. Therefore, it is important to put in place proper ad regulations as Internet usage grows.