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Tech news in less than 5 minutes – June 2024

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 5 min read
Tech news in less than 5 minutes – June 2024
Bite-sized news on generative AI, cybersecurity and smartwatches. Photo: Unsplash
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WHAT'S BUZZING

Gen AI could boost Apac’s annual GDP growth by 0.7% over next 15 years

According to Accenture, generative AI (gen AI) could add US$4.5 trillion ($6.08 trillion) in economic value in Asia Pacific (Apac), equivalent to a 0.7% boost in annual GDP growth, over the next 15 years. This can be achieved if the region takes a people-centric and responsible approach to adopting the technology at scale.

Currently, only 4% of business leaders in Apac have rolled out gen AI training at scale. This is despite the majority of business leaders in the region (96%) acknowledging the significant impact of gen AI and most Apac workers (91%) indicating interest in acquiring new skills to work with the technology.

Similarly, 89% of Apac businesses plan to increase their spending on gen AI technology this year, but only 35% are prioritising investments in their workforce’s development.

“For businesses to maximise gen AI benefits and drive growth, leaders must extend their focus beyond the immediate tasks and roles and embrace a long-term, people-centric approach to adopting gen AI. They need to pair gen AI investments with workforce training and development. Enterprises need to invest in transforming work, workflows and their workforce so they can reinvent themselves for success in the age of AI,” says Vivek Luthra, data and AI lead for Accenture Growth Markets.

See also: AXS Drive app enables cardless parking in Singapore

To fully leverage the potential of gen AI, Accenture recommends leaders to lead and learn in new ways. They need to immerse themselves in the technology, effectively changing how they learn by embedding learning into the flow of work.

They should also gain a clear view of where gen AI can be most impactful, aligning it with business goals for better efficiency and innovation across the enterprise and collapsing silos in a lasting, meaningful way. From there, they can re-focus on how the work needs to change to better serve customers, support people and achieve business outcomes.

Additionally, organisations need to prioritise continuous talent reinvention. Tools such as skills mapping can help facilitate smoother transitions from declining to emerging roles. Besides helping workers acquire market-relevant technical skills and the capability to collaborate with machines, they will also need to focus on soft skills.

See also: Singapore announces efforts to further strengthen AI governance

Espionage attacks dominate Apac’s cybersecurity landscape

Verizon Business analysed 2,130 security incidents and 523 confirmed breaches in the Asia Pacific (Apac) region in 2023. It found that the majority of the attacks (25%) were motivated by espionage.

Besides that, system intrusion, social engineering, and basic web application attacks represent 95% of breaches in Apac. The most common types of data compromised are credentials (69%), internal (37%), and secrets (24%).

“Since so much of cyber espionage can be defined as an advanced persistent threat, it’s especially important for Apac organisations to continuously refresh their security protocols to thwart the long-term collection of sensitive data by threat actors. It is equally important to review one’s third-party network since sensitive information with national security implications can sometimes be accessed via organisations with more lax cybersecurity practices, such as academic institutions and research facilities,” says Chris Novak, senior director of Cybersecurity Consulting at Verizon Business.

Analysis of the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) catalogue revealed that it takes organisations 55 days on average to remediate 50% of critical vulnerabilities following the availability of patches. Meanwhile, the median time for detecting the mass exploitations of the CISA KEV on the Internet is five days.

Verizon Business’s report also reveals that 68% of breaches involve a non-malicious human element, which refers to a person making an error or falling prey to a social engineering attack. One potential countervailing force is the improvement of reporting practices: 20% of users identified and reported phishing in simulation engagements, and 11% of users who clicked the email also reported it.

“The persistence of the human element in breaches shows that there is still plenty of room for improvement in cybersecurity training, but the increase in self-reporting indicates a culture change that destigmatises human error and may serve to shine a light on the importance of cybersecurity awareness among the general workforce,” says Robert Le Busque, Verizon Business’ regional vice-president for Asia Pacific.

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DIGITAL LIFE

Looking for a smartwatch that can help you better pursue your outdoor passions? Garmin might have the right one for you.

Forerunner GPS smartwatches help runners, cyclists and triathletes of all levels maximise their performance and chase new personal records.

Instinct smartwatches are built to withstand the toughest environments and feature a long battery life with solar charging.

Hikers can use the Garmin Explore app to plan their trip and use the TracBack feature on the watch to navigate the same route back to the original starting point. The Instinct Tactical feature also uses multiple GNSS satellite networks to help track a user’s location in more challenging environments than with just GPS alone.

With high-sensitivity GPS details, Approach golf watches can fine-tune a golfer’s game with precise distances, offer more than 43,000 preloaded courses worldwide and more.

Quatix watches are designed to provide boaters with comprehensive boat connectivity, including streaming the boat information, remote control chart plotters and autopilot system.

Divers can explore confidently and safely below the waters with Descent watch-style dive computers. The watches can double up as everyday smartwatches as they also support tracking of land activities such as swimming, hiking and more.

The Marq Aviator smartwatch can help pilots navigate to a location or waypoint in the worldwide aeronautical database or choose the “nearest” function to activate a path to a nearby airport.

For world travellers, Marq Aviator’s Jet Lag Adviser watch face displays the user’s home time zone, a “feels like” time and, once fully acclimated, will automatically update to show 24/7 guidance on light, sleep and exercise.

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