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Tech news in less than 5 minutes – April 2024

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 4 min read
Tech news in less than 5 minutes – April 2024
Bite-sized news on financial crime compliance, causes of data loss and an underwater research expedition in Southeast Asia. Photo: Pexels
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Careless users are biggest data loss problem for Singapore firms

A recent report by cybersecurity firm Proofpoint reveals that organisations in Singapore experienced the equivalent of more than one data loss incident per month, and careless users were usually the main cause.

Carelessness includes misdirecting emails, visiting phishing sites, installing unauthorised software, and emailing sensitive data to a personal account.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Singaporean respondents also identified employees with access to sensitive data, such as HR and finance professionals, as the greatest risk of data loss. This is in line with Proofpoint global data that shows one per cent of users are responsible for 88% of data loss events.

Other threats to data include malicious insiders such as employees or contractors seeking to harm the organisation, and departing employees who feel entitled to leave with information they have produced.

See also: Majority of Singaporean firms hit by ransomware sought law enforcement for help: survey

“Careless, compromised, and malicious users are and will continue to be responsible for the vast majority of cyber incidents, all while generative AI tools are absorbing common tasks — and gaining access to confidential data in the process. Organisations need to rethink their data loss prevention strategies to address the underlying cause of data loss — people’s actions — so they can detect, investigate, and respond to threats across all channels their employees are using including cloud, endpoint, email, and web,” says Ryan Kalember, Proofpoint’s chief strategy officer.

Financial crime compliance cost in Asia Pacific reaches US$45 billion in 2023

The majority of financial institutions (FIs) in Asia Pacific experienced an increase in financial crime compliance costs, amounting to US$45 billion ($60.2 billion) last year.

See also: Most executives are using AI to increase revenue: TCS

Respondents of the LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ study cited labour costs (75%) as the primary driver of cost escalation, followed by technology costs.

Specifically, 70% of organisations noticed rises in technology costs related to compliance/know-your-customer software, while technology costs associated with networks, systems and remote work have increased for 74% of FIs.

The study also found that cryptocurrencies, digital payments and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are emerging as tools for illicit activities. FIs said the financial crimes they observed in the past 12 months involved cryptocurrencies (23%) and the heightened use of AI (20%).

“Skilled in-house compliance teams are essential, but businesses should be actively seeking ways to reduce labour costs while improving compliance efficiency. Criminals adapt quickly and FIs require a partner with advanced tools, data and analytics to not only keep pace but to stay ahead,” says Matt Michaud, LexisNexis Risk Solutions’s global head of Financial Crime Compliance.


Global ocean exploration non-profit OceanX will be embarking on a series of research expeditions to better understand Southeast Asia’s marine biodiversity. This includes upcoming

missions in Indonesia and Malaysia, where it will work with local government agencies and scientists to conduct studies on the ocean environment that will help inform science, policy and economic decisions.

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“Southeast Asia is well-known as one of the world’s largest marine biodiversity hotspots, and much of it remains undiscovered and unexplored. Also, from fisheries to ocean sustainability, natural disasters to climate change — there are few regions with a deeper connection to and dependence on the ocean. With that in mind, OceanX is committed to joining Southeast Asia in the battle against climate change by exploring the depths of its waters and bringing back critical data, so we better understand how to protect and preserve it,” says Mark Dalio, founder and co-CEO of OceanX.

The expeditions will be conducted on an exploration, scientific research and media production vessel. Called OceanXplorer, it is fully equipped with cutting-edge technology to survey diverse marine environments, including deep-sea, shallow, and coastal habitats. These include:

Two submersibles will provide unobstructed views of the ocean environment with little noise emission. They enable scientists and filmmakers to observe, document and collect data on ecosystems and species in their natural environment. They can go as deep as 1km and hold three passengers including the pilot.

This remotely operated vehicle (ROV) can go as deep as 6km. OceanX and partner scientists can remotely operate the underwater robot to explore, map, and collect samples and footage of the ocean or areas that are difficult or impossible to reach via manned operations, such as underwater volcanoes.

Mission control will serve as the vessel’s central nervous system. All of the data collected from instruments deployed from OceanXplorer and various equipment (like the submersibles and ROV) are incorporated into a centralised data management platform and can be visualised in real-time in mission control.

Dry labs are available for scientists to conduct experiments onboard the vessel and study species up close. They house sophisticated science research technology, such as a full environmental DNA and genetic sequencing system, state-of-the-art microscopy and multiple 3D printers.

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