Editor’s Choice: 6 December 2017

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  • Cradle Partners Supernewsroom To Support Over 1,000 Startups
  • Malaysia’s Total Trade Rises to RM154.26 bln In October 2017
  • Trend Micro details emerging cybersecurity threats in 2018
  • First-Ever Work for a Stay Programme to Offer On-The-Job Experience in the Hotel Industry
  • Bitcoin surges above US$12,000 to record high
  • Bank Indonesia to ban Bitcoin transactions next year

Cradle Partners Supernewsroom To Support Over 1,000 Startups
Malaysia’s early stage startup influencer, Cradle Fund Sdn. Bhd. has sealed an agreement with Newsroom Solutions Sdn. Bhd. (Supernewsroom) to support over 1,000 startups and partners in their marketing and public relations (PR) efforts. Supernewsroom is Asia’s first do-it-yourself (DIY) digital PR platform based in Malaysia. Cradle Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nazrin Hassan, said the collaboration with Supernewsroom would provide a cost-effective solution to gain media traction and publicity as most startups have minimal financial resources. “With this MoU, startups funded by Cradle will be able to gain access to the entire editorial list and pro bono PR consultancy services by Supernewsroom with a 70 per cent discount or just RM500 per month from the standard fee of RM1,200 per month. “This is a value-added for them (startups) because they need to know and understand the media, and have proper strategies which could also lead them to potential investors,” said Nazrin. (Bernama)

Malaysia’s Total Trade Rises to RM154.26 bln In October 2017
Malaysia’s total trade in October 2017 surged by 19.8 per cent to RM154.26 billion compared with the corresponding month of last year. The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said the main contributors to the growth was trade with ASEAN, China, the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, the European Union (EU) and Taiwan. “During the period, exports rose significantly by 18.9 per cent to RM82.41 billion, exceeding the RM80 billion mark for the third time in 2017, while imports rose by 20.9 per cent to RM71.85 billion. “The trade surplus widened to RM10.56 billion, the highest value since April 2016, making it the 240th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997,” it said. On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 4.3 per cent, 5.3 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.

Trend Micro details emerging cybersecurity threats in 2018
Trend Micro announced its 2018 predictions that detail present and emerging cybersecurity threats. The report highlights 7 predictions on threats that will make inroads in the coming year – these security threats prompt us to relook and rethink. Some quick pointers include:
1. Ransomware will continue to trend, along with digital extortion campaigns. Digital extortion will be more prevalent and cybercriminals will increasingly be attracted to the business model where bitcoins are being used as a secure method to collect ransom.
2. Many companies will not pay attention to General Data Protection Regulation until the first high-profile lawsuit is filed. With the GDPR said to be rolled out in May 2018, there might be a possibility of lawsuits from the authorities and citizens, as majority of C-level executives have been surveyed to shun responsibility with complying with GDPR.
3. Cybercriminals will explore new ways to abuse IoT devices for their own gain.
4. Global losses from business email compromise scams will exceed US$9 billion in 2018.
5. Cyberpropaganda campaigns will be refined using tried-and-tested techniques from past spam campaigns. Fake news and cyberpropaganda will continue as final screening is still dependable on end users themselves.
6. Machine learning and blockchain technologies will be leveraged by cybercriminals to expand their evasion techniques.
7. Enterprise applications and platforms will be at risk of manipulation and vulnerabilities. Enterprise systems may be targeted by malicious actors wanting to manipulate the system and cause operational disruptions and damages – including platforms frequently used by enterprises such as Adobe and Microsoft. (Media Release)

First-Ever Work for a Stay Programme to Offer On-The-Job Experience in the Hotel Industry
The inaugural Work for a Stay programme will offer graduating students from post – secondary institutions and job seekers who are keen to work in the hotel industry a chance to try out a short – term work stint at a number of hotels here,, and earn a staycation. The Singapore Tourism Board (SSTB)), together with Singapore Hotel Association (SSHA)), have collaborated with 1 5 hotels in Singapore to offer a 10 – day Work for a Stay programme to expose tertiary students and Singaporean and Permanent Resident (PPR)) jobseekers to the day-to-day work operations and culture of the hotel industry. This programme will enable participants to better understand the job scope and skills required in the industry; it is also part of efforts to help the industry build a strong pipeline of talent and a future – ready workforce , while providing quality career opportunities for Singaporeans and PRs. (Sg Press Centre)

Bitcoin surges above US$12,000 to record high on relentless demand
Bitcoin extended its rally today, breaking above US$12,000 to a record high despite questions about the cryptocurrency’s real value and worries about a dangerous bubble. Bitcoin received a boost after Friday’s announcement by the main US derivatives regulator that it would allow CME Group Inc. and CBOE Global Markets to list bitcoin futures contracts. The move opens the door to added regulation but also more mainstream adoption, as bitcoin futures and other derivatives would make it easier to trade the new asset class. Bitcoin’s meteoric ascent of over 10-fold from below US$1,000 at the start of the year has drawn regulatory scrutiny around the world. Some high profile individuals such as Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz have said the cryptocurrency should be outlawed. The current craze for bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, have been likened by some to the 17th century Dutch tulip mania and more recently the dotcom bubble. (Reuters)

Bank Indonesia to ban Bitcoin transactions next year
Bank Indonesia plans to issue a regulation prohibiting transactions using Bitcoin. Bank Indonesia head of transformation Onny Widjanarko said the regulation on e-money would be issued in the near future. “Currently, there is no single regulation for those who carry out transactions using Bitcoin,” Onny said in Jakarta. He said the central bank was currently carrying out an in-depth study to determine whether the central bank would include a ruling on Bitcoin in the prevailing e-money regulation or in a separate regulation on cryptocurrency. Therefore, BI called on merchants not to accept Bitcoin as an official payment instrument as the bank would not be responsible for any losses incurred through transactions, Onny said. He said that Bitcoin could potentially be used to violate prevailing regulations on terrorism, money laundering, prostitution and drug trafficking. Countries hold different stances on Bitcoin, with China and Russia rejecting it while Japan accepts it as a payment instrument. (Jakarta Post)

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