eSports enthusiasts, heads-up! Acer just announced the full details of the Asia Pacific Predator League 2020!
Here is everything you need to know about the APAC Predator League 2020, including its prize pool of US$ 400,000!
The Asia Pacific Predator League 2020
Predator League is the largest brand-initiated tournament in the Asia Pacific region, with over 3500 teams participating in the 2019 edition that culminated in the Grand Finals in Thailand.
With a new prize pool of USD 400,000, the Asia Pacific League 2020 will be held in Manila on 22 – 23 February 2020 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
In the run-up to the grand showdown in Manila, 17 participating countries have opened registrations for local qualifying competitions for both PUBG and Dota 2 in October with local prizes.
If you believe you have what it takes to be the Malaysian champion, and win a big chunk of the RM 100,000 prize pool, you can register here.
Asia Pacific Predator League 2020 Qualifying Details
There will be two online qualifying stages, as well as four on-ground qualifying stages, held at :
Mineski Infinity Kuala Lumpur
Mineski Esport Arena Selangor
Eternity Esport Penang
Gizmo Arena Sarawak
The qualifying teams will meet for the Malaysian Grand Finals at Level Up KL, in KLCC on 9-10 November 2019 in Malaysia.
There will be four online qualifying stages, with the top four teams of each qualifying stage scheduled to face each other at the Malaysian Grand Finals on 7-8 December 2019 at Battle Arena, Jaya Shopping Centre, in the most extreme matches of FPP on Erangel and Miramar.
The Prize Pool
The prize pool breakdown is RM50,000 cash for DOTA2 and RM24,000 cash for PUBG, and another RM26,000 worth of prizes.
The Malaysian leg champions will also be heading to Manila in February 2020 to duke it out for the coveted championship.
A new Microsoft study predicts that the APAC retail industry is expected to add $272 billion to the region’s GDP by 2021. The caveat – retail organisations need to embrace digital transformation initiatives.
Digital Transformation Will Boost APAC Retail By $272 Billion!
The study, which polled 240 business leaders in the APAC retail industry, found that half the respondents will focus on digitally-transforming customer service and support.
Respondents will also focus on digitally-transforming sales and IT operations in 2019.
Capitalising on customer data, organisations can accelerate their digital transformation journey via a three-step process:
Collection of data to improve decision-making processes Retail organizations need to have a data strategy in place in order to manage the streams of data available. By doing so, and applying big data analytics, they will be able to develop real-time insights that can deliver personalized experiences while simplifying the decision-making process for employees.
Optimizing existing products and services with data Data can be used as an asset to optimize existing processes and for developing predictive analytics to improve delivery of services and products across channels. Retailers can also tap on artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver personalized experiences, while reducing time spent on menial work.
Creating new business models with data Data can also be used to develop new products, services and experiences, as well as new business models, like the new Kroger-Microsoft RaaS product.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5 April 2018 – Microsoft today crowned Team PINE from Malaysia as the winner of the Imagine Cup 2018 Asia Pacific Regional Finals, after a nail-biting finale against 14 other teams from across the region. Six other teams were also selected to continue their journey at the Imagine Cup 2018 World Finals which will be held in Seattle in July.
Microsoft Imagine Cup 2018 APAC Winner : Team PINE!
Team PINE developed a handheld sensing device that can help pineapple farmers efficiently and effectively evaluate optimal levels of ripeness prior to harvest, and in a non-intrusive manner.
According to Tan Yit Peng, a member of Team Pine, “Pineapples are the second most exported tropical fruit in Malaysia. Currently, a conventional method is used to determine the quality of a pineapple (Brix value) and this is done intrusively using a refractometer which leads to a lot of wastage. Our device will allow farmers to check the internal quality of the pineapples in order to ensure that the quality is optimum before harvest. It is a quick and easy solution that these farmers can use.”
When asked about the team’s feelings about being crowned the champions, she had this to say,” We are overjoyed about winning the regional finals and we look forward to waving the Malaysian flag proudly during the finals in Seattle!”
Congratulating the team, K Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia said, “We are delighted that Malaysia has bagged the top spot in the regional finals of this prestigious Imagine Cup. It gives us immense pride and joy to see them take our flag to the global finals. With Imagine Cup, we continue to build on our goal to empower students and prepare the future workforce. To the fifteen teams from across Asia Pacific that gathered for the competition, I hope you feel proud of what you have accomplished thus far. Simply being here is deserving of congratulations.”
The first runner-up and second runner-up places were awarded to Team BeeConnex from Thailand, and Team 7x from Singapore, respectively.
Team BeeConnex from Thailand came up with the Smart Hive; an IoT device that enables beekeepers to track and monitor the health of a beehive. The device is also able to alert beekeepers when potential issues are detected within the hive.
Singapore’s Team 7x created ProCubeX, an interactive smart-learning cube designed as an early intervention tool for children with dyslexia. The cube will intelligently generate an individualized education plan for dyslexic children, triggering multisensory stimulation as well as the parts of the brain responsible for language learning.
In all, seven teams from the Imagine Cup APAC Regional Finals were selected to continue their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup World Finals. The seven teams are:
Team Beehive Drone
* In no particular order of merit
The student teams will take their innovation journey to the next level at the Imagine Cup 2018 World Finals. Held in Seattle this July, the World Finals will gather more than 50 student teams from all over the world, all vying for the top prize of up to US$100,000, mentorship opportunities with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, as well as Azure grants and credits to bring their winning solution to the market.
The 15 finalist teams which participated in the regional finals came from nine countries, including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. These teams were selected from local finals that were held in each country earlier this year.
KUALA LUMPUR, 6 FEBRUARY – By 2021, digital transformation will add an estimated US$10 billion to Malaysia’s GDP, and increase the growth rate by 0.6% annually, according to a new business study. The research, Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific, was produced by Microsoft in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific.
Digital Transformation to Contribute US$10 Billion to GDP by 2021
The study predicts a dramatic acceleration in the pace of digital transformation across Asia’s economies. In 2017, about 7% of Malaysia’s GDP was derived from digital products and services created directly through the use of digital technologies, such as mobility, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI).
“Malaysia is clearly on the digital transformation fast track. Within the next four years, we expect to see approximately 45% of Malaysia’s GDP to be derived from digital products and services,” said K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia. “At the same time, organizations in Asia Pacific are increasingly deploying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence as part of their digital transformation initiatives, and that will accelerate growth even further.”
The survey conducted with 1,560 business decision makers in mid and large-sized organizations across 15 economies in the region highlights the rapid impact and widespread disruption that digital transformation is having on traditional business models.
According to the research findings, business leaders expect to see more than 20% improvements in those key areas by 2020, with the biggest jump expected in customer advocacy.
Digital Leaders in Asia Pacific to Gain Lion’s Share of Economic Opportunities
The study indicates that while 85% of organizations in Malaysia are in the midst of their digital transformation journey, only 7% in the entire region can be classified as Leaders. These are organizations that have full or progressing digital transformation strategies, with at least a third of their revenue derived from digital products and services. In addition, these companies are seeing between 20 – 30% improvements in benefits across various business areas from their initiatives.
The study indicates that Leaders experience double the benefits of Followers, and these improvements will be more pronounced by 2020. Almost half of Leaders (48%) have a full digital transformation strategy in place.
“The pace of digital transformation is accelerating, and IDC expects that by 2021, at least 48% of Southeast Asia’s GDP will be derived from digital products and services, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships. The study shows Leaders seeing double the benefits of Followers, with improvements in productivity, cost reductions, and customer advocacy. To remain competitive, organizations must establish new metrics, realign organization structures, and re-architect their technology platform,” said Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Research Director Digital Transformation Practice Lead, IDC Asia/Pacific.
The Study identified key differences between Leaders and Followers in Asia Pacific, which contribute to the improvements tracked:
Leaders are more concerned about competitors and emergence of disruptive technologies: The digital economy has also given rise to new types of competitors, as well as emerging technologies such as AI that have contributed to the disruption of business models.
Business agility and culture of innovation are key goals: When addressing business concerns, Leaders are focused on creating a culture of agility and innovation to counter competition. Followers, on the other hand, are more focused on improving employee productivity and profitability.
Measuring digital transformation successes: Organizations across Asia Pacific are starting to adopt new key performance indicators (KPI) to better measure their digital transformation initiatives, such as effectiveness of processes, data as a capital, and customer advocacy in the form of Net Promoter Score (NPS). As organizations realize the potential of data as the new oil for the digital economy, Leaders are much more focused on leveraging data to grow revenue and productivity, and to transform business models.
Leaders are more aware of challenges in their digital transformation journeys: In addition to skills and cybersecurity threats as key challenges, Leaders have also identified the need to bolster their data capabilities through the use of advanced analytics to develop actionable insights in fast-moving markets.
Leaders are looking to invest in AI and Internet of Things: Emerging technologies such as AI (including cognitive services and robotics) and IoT are areas where Leaders are investing in for 2018. Besides these emerging technologies, Leaders are also more interested in investing in big data analytics to mine data for actionable insights than others.
Digital Transformation in Malaysia Will Ultimately Benefit Citizens
According to the business leaders surveyed, digital transformation will bring about these top benefits to society:
Potential increment to personal income through freelance and digital work
Creation of more higher value jobs
Increased educational and training opportunities
Smarter, safer and more efficient cities
Respondents in Malaysia felt that 96% of jobs will be transformed in the next three years due to digital transformation, and more than half of the jobs in the market today will be redeployed to higher value roles or reskilled to meet the needs of the digital age.
“The rise of digital transformation in Asia Pacific economies will affect the labour market where many types of jobs will evolve and change. What is encouraging is that 76% of the study’s respondents are confident that their young professionals already have future-ready skills that will help them transition to new roles. Governments and organizations should still focus on reskilling and upskilling, because continuous learning will be important in ensuring a successful workforce transformation for the digital age,” said K Raman.
In Malaysia, Microsoft has been empowering the digital transformation journey of the nation by providing cutting-edge technology to many leading organisations including primary healthcare provider, BP Healthcare. Doctor2U, its on-demand healthcare app which is built on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Bot Framework, aims to create an entire healthcare ecosystem a single platform. The app features Doctor House Call service that brings a doctor to your doorstep within 60 minutes, video call or Live Chat with doctors, pharmacists and nutritionists for free, as well as medication delivery services, teleradiology platform and hospital information system, among others. As a result, Doctor2U has set themselves as a digital transformation leader by empowering clinicians, patients and care teams, effectively reducing delay and waiting time by 54%.
Riding the Wave of Digital Transformation
Organizations in Asia Pacific need to accelerate their digital transformation journey to reap the full benefits of their initiatives, and to address the invisible revolution brought about the mass adoption of AI. More importantly, companies need to focus on capitalizing their own data in order to gain new market insights, create new digital products and services, and monetize data through data sharing securely, and in collaboration with its ecosystem.
Microsoft recommends organizations to adopt the following strategies to become a digital transformation Leader:
Create a digital culture: An organization need to build a culture of collaboration where it is connected across business functions, and has a vibrant and mature ecosystem of customers and partners. Data can then be embraced across organization and functions, where better decisions can be made and ultimately serving the needs of customers and partners better.
Build an information ecosystem: In a digital world, organizations are capture more volumes of data internally and externally. The key to becoming a Leader is for organizations to be able to convert data into capital assets, and enable data sharing and collaboration internally and externally in an open yet trusted manner. In addition, a proper data strategy will allow businesses to start their AI initiatives to identify connections, insights and trends.
Embrace micro-revolutions: In most cases, digital transformation efforts do not start with widespread change, but a series of micro-revolutions. These are small, quick projects that deliver positive business outcomes and accrue to a bigger and bolder digital transformation initiatives.
Develop Future Ready Skills for Individuals and Organizations: Organizations today must relook at training and reskilling its workforce so that workers are equipped with future ready skill sets such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity for the digital economy. More importantly, they need to rebalance the workforce to attain and attract key digital talents, as well as be open in creating a flexible work source model where they tap into skills-based marketplace. From a digital skills perspective, LinkedIn’s latest study outlines the ABCs of digital talents required for future economies in the region – artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing. In Malaysia, the top in-demand skills are big data, software and user testing and mobile development.
7 February 2017 – Microsoft today marked “Safer Internet Day” with regional findings from the Microsoft SIR (Security Intelligence Report), Volume 21, a twice yearly report that provides unique insights into the threat landscape to help organizations learn about trend data in industry vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and web-based attacks.
The Microsoft SIR report, released in December last year, identified Asia Pacific markets, especially the emerging ones, as among those at the highest risk of cybersecurity threats. Three out of the top five global spots for rate of malware encounters in the region. Malaysia placed 11th amongst the top markets in Asia Pacific under malware threats. Furthermore, Malaysia reported a malware encounter rate of more than 27.6%, compared to the worldwide encounter rate of 20.8 percent during the same period.
Two of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection included neighbouring countries Vietnam and Indonesia. Other top markets under malware threats include large developing markets and Southeast Asia countries – Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and India – each with encounter rates of more than 30 percent.
However, markets in the region with higher levels of IT maturity such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have displayed malware encounter rates that are below the worldwide average, highlighting the diverse cybersecurity landscape in the Asia Pacific.
Top Markets in the Asia Pacific under Malware Threats in the Microsoft SIR :
Nepal and Bangladesh
Top Encountered Malware in Asia Pacific
The Microsoft SIR report showed that the top most encountered malicious software families in Malaysia include:
Gamarue, a worm which can give a malicious hacker control of your PC, steal information and change PC security settings;
Lodbak, a trojan that is usually installed on removable drives by Gamarue, and which attempts to install Gamarue when the infected removable drive is connected to a computer; and Peals is a generic detection for various threats that display trojan characteristics.
In particular, Gamarue, the most commonly encountered non-generic threat was encountered by 3.3 percent of computers. This worm is commonly distributed via exploit kits and social engineering and can also be attached to spam mails.
Gamarue’s variants, can give a malicious hacker control of the infected computers and have been observed stealing information from the devices and communicating with command-and-control (C&C) servers managed by attackers. Gamarue also makes unwanted and malicious changes to the local computer’s security settings.
Jasmine Begum, Director, Corporate External & Legal Affairs (CELA), Microsoft Malaysia said, “With increasing malware encounters and sophistication of cyberattacks, cybersecurity is becoming a mission critical priority for most organizations. It generally takes an average up to 200 days for organizations to find out that they have been breached. With no sign of abatement in the future, what companies need is a Secure Modern Enterprise posture, which involves well-integrated “Protect-Detect-Respond” investments and capabilities, with a strategic focus on the core pillars – Identity, Apps, Data, Infrastructure and Devices. Additionally, organizations should also strongly consider adopting trusted cloud-based services to enjoy the highest levels of data protection, leveraging the cloud provider’s enterprise-grade security and privacy expertise, assurances and certifications.”
Security teams should also keep abreast of changes in the threat landscape brought about by emergence of cloud computing. The latest report contains an expanded Featured Intelligence section that includes a deep dive section on Protecting cloud infrastructure: detecting and mitigating threats using Azure Security Center. This section details new threats that organizations may encounter and explains how they can use Azure Security Center to protect, detect, and respond to security threats against Azure cloud-based resources.
Some of the new cloud-targeted threats outlined in the Microsoft SIR are:
Pivot back attacks, which occurs when an attacker compromises a public cloud resource to obtain information that they then use to attack the resource provider’s on-premises environment
“Man in the Cloud” attacks, in which an attacker induces a prospective victim to install a piece of malware using a typical mechanism, such as an email with a link to a malicious website. It then switches out the user’s cloud storage synchronization token with the attacker’s token, allowing the attacker to receive copies of each file the user places in cloud storage. This effectively makes the attacker a “man in the middle” for cloud storage.
Side-channel attacks, where an attacker attempts to put a virtual machine on the same physical server as the intended victim. If he succeeds, the attacker will be able to launch local attacks against the victim. These attacks might include local DDoS, network sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks, all of which can be used to extract information.
Resource ransom, where attackers hold cloud resource hostage by breaking into and controlling public cloud account, and then requiring the victim to pay a ransom to release encrypted or restricted resources.
Organizations need to ensure they have a robust cybersecurity posture to withstand and respond effectively to most cyberattacks and malware infections.
Five best practices for improving defence against cybersecurity threats are:
Ensure strong fundamentals: Use only genuine, current and updated software. The usage of IT assets which are old, unprotected, or are non-genuine in nature, substantially increase the chances for a cyberattack. For example, pirated and counterfeit software are known to come with embedded malware infections.
Focus on cyber hygiene: Poor cyber hygiene of IT users, negligent employee behaviour or weak credentials/password protection within an organization, adds a high degree of vulnerability for system compromise. With more and more personal devices being used at the workplace, the higher the chance they are infected.
Have a data culture: Develop a big data analytics culture involving data classification, multifactor authentication, encryption, rights management, machine learning for behavioural analytics and log analytics to spot user anomalies and irregular or suspicious patterns, which could provide potential clues in advance to prevent impending or ongoing security breaches.
Invest in a robust cyber defence ecosystem and monitor all systems in real time: Invest in trusted security solutions and modern threat protection technologies to monitor, detect and remove common and advanced cyber threats in real time, while developing in-house expertise to undertake threat analytics.
Regular assessment, review and audit: Be comprehensive on all aspects of cybersecurity, not just technology. Have a IT trusted supply chain across cloud, software, hardware, Internet of Things, BYOD (bring your own device) and regularly review and assess cybersecurity investments and performance of both software and hardware deployment, including customer and vendor access to the corporate network.
Resources like the Microsoft SIR (Security Intelligence Report) are just one aspect of the Microsoft comprehensive approach to security – including a holistic platform, unique intelligence and broad partnerships – which is critical to enabling the digital transformation of leading organizations in Asia.
As part of Microsoft’s commitment to building trust in technology in the region, it launched its first combined Transparency Center and Cybersecurity Center in October 2016. Located in Singapore, the joint facility brings together Microsoft capabilities in a single location in Asia Pacific, to serve the security needs of the public and private sector and foster the building of a trusted and secure computing environment.