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Tech news in less than 5 minutes – April 2023

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 5 min read
Tech news in less than 5 minutes – April 2023
Bite-sized news on sustainability, cybersecurity, data storage, and generative AI. Photo: Pexels
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Consumers will abandon companies that don’t cut back on data-related pollution

Nearly half of consumers in Singapore (48%) would stop buying from a company if they knew it was willfully causing environmental damage by failing to control how much unnecessary or unwanted data it stores.

The study by multi-cloud data management provider Veritas Technologies also reveals that 52% are concerned about online data storage wasting energy and producing environmental pollution. This is because, on average, half of the data enterprises store is redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT), and another 35% is “dark” with unknown value, according to another Veritas research.

As such, 66% of the Singapore respondents would like to see more focus from organisations on controlling the negative impact of online data storage on the environment. This could include organisations encouraging customers to close unused or inactive accounts and providing guidance on deleting obsolete information they no longer need or want.

“Organisations should not accept ROT or dark data as a logical consequence of digitalisation. With many consumers feeling passionate about reducing their carbon footprint, organisations should start using a green lens to assess their data management practices, even if they are outsourcing their storage to public cloud providers,” says Andy Ng, vice president and managing director of Asia South and Pacific Region at Veritas Technologies.

See also: Huawei and EDMI reach global IoT licencing agreement

He continues: “In fact, the average organisation is still causing more pollution by storing data they know is not needed than data they believe to be useful – on average, just 15% of data stored globally is business critical. With half of customers saying they would stop buying from companies that fail to get a grip on the challenge, the risk for both businesses and the environment of not identifying and eliminating unneeded data is too great to ignore any longer.”

Majority of Singapore firms fell prey to identity-based cyberattacks

Nearly nine in 10 organisations in Singapore (87%) admit to being a victim of identity-based cyberattacks, according to a survey by identity security solutions provider CyberArk and Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

See also: Majority of Singapore firms are still ill-prepared to deal with cyber threats: Cisco

The survey also found that low competency to secure identities and the lack of cybersecurity staff are the top reasons holding organisations in Singapore back from optimising their strategy on identity-related security issues. Additionally, 58% of organisations globally say they have two teams responsible for securing identities in the cloud and on-premises and rely on numerous point solutions. This fragmentation makes it difficult to understand their real-time security posture.

“The main focus for organisations looking to adopt a mature holistic identity security strategy is to secure access for all identities — be it humans or machines — by breaking down silos and adopting a consolidated and automated approach for identity security. Our research indicates that many have already begun investing in this journey, with 24% of organisations committing more than 10% of their overall cybersecurity budget to their identity security programmes this year,” says Amita Potnis, CyberArk’s director for Brand and Thought Leadership.

Jack Poller, ESG’s senior analyst, adds: “More frequent and timely maturity assessments can help ensure the right users have access to the right data, and that organisations can act quickly enough to stop threats before they stop business.”

Organisations can evaluate their maturity across the following four tenets of identity security:

  • Procurement of tools spanning management, privilege controls, governance, authentication and authorisation for all identities and identity types.
  • Integrations with other IT and security solutions within the organisation’s stack to secure access to all corporate assets and environments.
  • Automation to help ensure continuous compliance with policies, industry standards and regulations, along with a rapid response to high-volume routine and anomalous events.
  • Continuous threat detection and response capabilities based on a solid understanding of identity behaviours and organisational policies.


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Photo: Audi

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To help you create and connect better, Google will incorporate generative artificial intelligence (AI) into Google Workspace. It is currently introducing AI-powered writing features in Google Docs and Gmail to trusted testers, but here’s what you can expect soon.

Photo: Google

Simply type a topic you want to write about in Google Docs, and a draft will instantly be generated for you. With your collaborative AI partner, you can continue to refine and edit, getting more suggestions as needed.

Photo: Google

Transform your email copy in the right tone and style with the generative AI capability baked into Gmail. You can also select the “I’m feeling lucky” option if you’d like to let AI try a new playful voice.

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