Mar 10, 2021

PwC Hong Kong partners to co-solve cybersecurity pain points

Kate Birch
2 min
Addressing the rising tide of cyberattacks across APAC, PwC Hong Kong partners with HKBNES to help businesses enhance their cybersecurity readiness
Addressing the rising tide of cyberattacks across APAC, PwC Hong Kong partners with HKBNES to help businesses enhance their cybersecurity readiness...

As companies transition to digital remote-enabled work modes in the new normal, only 50% of the decision makers are incorporating cybersecurity into their strategies despite the fact that there has been an alarming rise in recent cyberattacks. That's according to PwC's Global Digital Trust Insights Survey 2021.  

As a result, PwC Hong Hong (PwC) has partnered with HKBNES, the enterprise solutions arm of technology solutions provider HKBN, to help solve cybersecurity pain points for businesses across Asia Pacific.

Collaboration made in cybersecurity heaven

By marrying best-in-class cybersecurity assessment with the technical capabilities of a full-service IT solutions provider, PwC and HKBNES will help businesses, especially SMEs whose cybersecurity talents are thin on the ground, protect their precious digital assets and infrastructure. 

According to PwC Hong Kong Partner Kok Tin Gan, this new collaboration aims to “co-solve the SMEs owners’ pain points by empowering more local businesses to enhance their cybersecurity readiness, helping them to build sustainable work modes and sail safe through the rough seas”. 

With its incredible reach to more than 100,000 companies, or 50% of active companies in Hong Kong, and knowledge of the security needs of businesses including the imminent risks they face, HKBNES is well-positioned to “bring SMEs a stack of best-in-class, enterprise-grade cybersecurity solutions at affordable rates”, explains HKBN CTO Danny Li, ensuring “companies of all sizes can mount adequate security response as they venture into an increasingly digitised brave new world”. 

Services on offer to address pain points of SMEs

The partnership will provide a rule range of cybersecurity services from vulnerability assessment and phishing simulation, to 7x24 SOC security monitoring, 7x24 remediation management and next-gen MDR services. 

Threat management services to be offered include key technologies such as Security Operations Centre (SOC), which provides round-the-clock network security monitoring, in addition to next-generation Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, for hunting and responding to identified threats.

Serving as a trusted cybersecurity advisor, HKBNES will provide professional service delivery and world-class SOC security monitoring on an affordable, monthly subscription model tailored for enterprises. 

More sophisticated options are also available for large-scale operations with higher compliance requirements, including threat intelligence and proactive incident response.  

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Jun 9, 2021

Q&A: Professor Loredana Padurean, Asia School of Business

Kate Birch
3 min
Teaching the MIT Sloan Executive Education program at Asia School of Business, Prof. Padurean talks innovation, smart skills and digital transformation

As someone who is creating Asia Pacific’s business leaders of the future, what do you believe are the essential skills leaders require?

In many ways, we need leaders who are Renaissance women/men or polymaths, as opposed to specialists of an industry or a field. A polymath is a person with profound knowledge, proficiency and expertise in multiple fields and today’s leaders have to be able to combine various ideas, look at problems in novel and useful ways, and develop a broad and yet still deep set of skills, talents, and knowledge.

You’ve coined ‘smart’ and ‘sharp’ as skills of the future. What are these?

They are replacements for ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, a concept coined by a US Army doctor in 1972 who observed that his pupils had different skills: dealing with machinery required ‘hard’ skills, while dealing with people and paper were ‘soft’ skills. This concept has served us well since, but I find it too binary, not to mention the semantic implications of the words themselves.

Soft implies gentle, delicate, mild, quiet, tender, weak. However, there is nothing soft in navigating competing perspectives and cultures, handling and delivering critical feedback or dealing with office politics. Instead, I prefer to call these skills ‘smart’. Hard implies rigid, difficult, heavy, static. But how can we think of engineering or software development as static or rigid? I believe ‘sharp’ is more apt as such skills need constant updating or sharpening. 

I think it’s time to reflect on these classifications, because we can drastically change someone’s perspective by how we choose to talk about and frame something. 

How important are smart skills in leadership today?

Smart skills are more important than ever because we live in a world of extreme diversity: generational, ethical, value-based, gender, etc. Gone are the days when giving an order was an effective act of leadership. I personally work with people from five different continents and across five different generations, therefore as leaders, we need to know how to adapt, motivate, inspire and connect. We need to increase our investment in learning about them in action, especially as smart skills are more difficult to develop.

I believe that a successful leader today has to be both smart and sharp. Take cognitive readiness, one of my top 10 smart skills. In order to be cognitive ready, one has to master system dynamics, one of my top 10 sharp skills. Also, did you know that one of the primary reasons why digital transformation fails is not the absence of digital literacy, a sharp skill, but the need for more validation and adaptability, both smart skills. So, instead of thinking of these skills as binary, I prefer to think of them as the yin and yang; co-existing and complementing each other. 

So, you can teach leaders smart skills then?

Yes, you can, via a combination of the classroom experience, plus an action component supported by deeply embedded reflection. At ASB we call this Action Learning, and we teach it both in the MBA and in the executive programs. For example, in teaching a leader emotional maturity as a smart skill, first they need to learn what it is, and then act on it, before reflecting on what we did and how we did it. And then to repeat it, but this time with more expertise and awareness. It’s not easy, but that’s why my favourite mantra is ‘the job is easy, the people are not’. 

Discover Professor Padurean's successful skills for a digital transformation here


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