23 May 2017

The top five local companies Singaporeans want to work for

JobStreet.com has revealed through its annual Top Companies of the Year survey that Singapore Airlines; Changi Airport Group; DBS Bank; CapitaLand; and Singapore Technologies Engineering are the five most coveted employers in Singapore.

Curated from JobStreet.com’s annual Top Companies Survey which consulates responses from over 1,200 Singaporeans, the above companies were recognised at JobStreet.com’s Top Companies Awards 2017 alongside the top 10 companies that Singaporeans want to work for:

1) Google
2) Facebook
3) Apple
4) Singapore Airlines
5) Microsoft
6) Shell
7) Changi Airport Group
8) ExxonMobil
9) Procter & Gamble; DBS Bank
10) IBM

Facebook moved up two notches from last year’s rankings to second. “The company focuses on the strengths of their employees, based on what they love doing, what they are great at, and what Facebook needs. For instance, a few initiatives are put in place to emphasise work-life integration such as Health@Challenge, bring your family to work day and pivot career conversations. The company also encourages flexible work scheduling which lets employees adjust their work hours or days according to their personal priorities whenever reasonable. Its unique Builder culture and management approach also help to push the boundaries for positive change, where employees regularly gather to 'hack' problems, create new ideas and continuously improve the products they are building,” says Sarita Peng, Head of Staffing, APAC, Facebook.

One of the leaders in Singapore’s energy industry and in sixth place is Shell, which has progressive policies in place to create an inclusive workplace and demonstrate care for its employees and their families. Recognising that every young family has different needs, Shell’s flexi-working scheme provides a range of options (e.g. flexible hours, compressed workweeks, part-time work and job sharing) to help working mothers re-integrate back to working life after maternity leave.

Yeo Li Tiang and Wang Chang Ching are among employees at Shell who have benefitted from flexible work arrangements. Both of them are young mothers. After taking sabbatical leave and a career break to care for their families, Yeo and Wang have since returned to Shell as Regional Finance Managers on a job-share arrangement that they proposed and customised themselves. This arrangement has worked out well for them and Shell for the last three years. Yeo attributes one of the success factors to the values of trust, respect and inclusiveness, which are deeply rooted in Shell’s work culture.

“In recent years, we also see more and more local companies put in extra efforts to develop and further strengthen their human resource strategies. Therefore, we are excited to recognise and award top local companies for their efforts to build exemplary workplaces. More than just a job search portal, JobStreet.com recognises its role in solving human resource challenges, and wants to help talents find jobs that make them happy. Our insightful surveys and innovative job search systems also help companies review their corporate cultures and streamline their recruitment operations,” says Chew Siew Mee, Country Sales Manager for JobStreet.com Singapore.

Another organisation of world-class reputation is Changi Airport. Changi Airport was named the world’s best airport at the 2017World Airport Awards for the fifth time.

“As an employer, we are committed to keep our employees motivated and engaged. We focus on offering opportunities for growth, meaningful work, as well as creating a sense of pride and belonging,” says Justina Tan, MD, People, Changi Airport Group.

Aon Hewitt’s leading employer in Asia, DBS, has the ability to empower its employees to have fulfilling careers. “We want to create a great workplace where employees feel connected and valued, while progressing in their journey with DBS. Our holistic suite of people initiatives help to equip our staff to be the best, be the change and be the difference that they can be, at every stage of their lives,” says James Loo, Executive Director, Group HR, Talent Acquisition Group, DBS Bank.

According to JobStreet.com’s 2016 Job Happiness Index, more than half of Singaporean employees are unhappy at work. Such sentiments eventually lead to short job tenures and a high turnover rate. According to the Top Companies of the Year survey, what employees consider when choosing a company include:

1. Career development opportunities; basic salary;
2. Calibre of management and leadership team;
3. Work environment as well as culture.

JobStreet.com says that Singaporean employees are well educated and discerning, and they want to ensure that as they chart new life milestones, their careers advance as well. They want to feel that their work is impactful and meaningful, and they achieve this by taking on more responsibilities. This is especially true for Millennials. With the high costs of living in Singapore, it is understandable that employees want a basic salary commensurate with their qualifications.

Finally, talents look for strong leadership, JobStreet.com said. They want to work for management teams that can help them soar higher, and they want to be associated with reputable brands.

JobStreet.com is an online job board presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. JobStreet.com currently services over 230,000 corporate hirers and over 15 million jobseekers in its database.


posted from Bloggeroid

15 May 2017

Seagate announces Seagate DJI Fly Drive

Source: Seagate. The Seagate DJI Fly Drive.
Source: Seagate. The Seagate DJI Fly Drive.
Drones are creating more content than ever before, and with the announcement of the Seagate DJI Fly Drive, managing that data is about to get easier. 
The first data solution to come from Seagate and DJI’s strategic partnership, Fly Drive portable external drive will allow drone pilots to efficiently back up their photo and video content on location, thanks to its large storage capacity, integrated MicroSD card slot, quick transfer speeds and durable build. It also comes with a complimentary two-month subscription to Adobe Premiere Pro CC*, part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Fly Drive features:

  • Up to 2TB of storage. On average, an hour of 4K 30fps compressed footage creates 30GB of data.
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Protective bumper provides shock resistance. A USB-C cable is stored in the bumper. 
  • USB 3.1 Type C interface 


The Seagate DJI Fly Drive will be available this summer (editor's note: roughly Q2 to Q3)

*Adobe Premiere Pro CC offer valid where available. 

posted from Bloggeroid

Global ransomware attacks include Asia

  • WannaCrypt, also known as WannaCry and WCry, encrypts data files and ask users to pay a US$300 ransom in Bitcoin. The ransom note indicates that the payment amount will be doubled after three days. If payment is not made after seven days, the encrypted files will be deleted.
  • WannaCrypt has the ability to spread itself within corporate networks, without user interaction, by exploiting a known vulnerability in Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft discovered the WannaCrypt (also called WannaCry or WCry) ransomware attack fairly early on May 12, 2017 (US time), according to a blog post. As of the time of writing, the ransomware, a new variant of the Ransom.CryptXXX family, has been detected in over 100 countries including Singapore, Indonesia and India.

"We detected a new ransomware that spreads like a worm by leveraging vulnerabilities that have been previously fixed. While security updates are automatically applied in most computers, some users and enterprises may delay deployment of patches. Unfortunately, the malware, known as WannaCrypt, appears to have affected computers that have not applied the patch for these vulnerabilities. While the attack is unfolding, we remind users to install MS17-010 if they have not already done so," the blog post states.

The company has also taken the unprecedented step of issuing a patch for unsupported versions of Windows, as detailed in another blog post.

"Seeing businesses and individuals affected by cyberattacks, such as the ones reported today, was painful. Microsoft worked throughout the day to ensure we understood the attack and were taking all possible actions to protect our customers. This blog spells out the steps every individual and business should take to stay protected. Additionally, we are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack today," stated the post.

"Given the potential impact to customers and their businesses, we made the decision to make the Security Update for platforms in custom support only, Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003, broadly available for download."

Security firm Acronis has noted that many organisations are waking up to the fact that ransomware isn’t something that just happens to “other people”.

The threat, as demonstrated by this weekend’s attacks, prove that businesses worldwide needs to be protected against ransomware, the company said.

Acronis' VP of Engineering, Nikolay Grebennikov said, “People, and businesses hear ‘ransomware’ and think such an attack can’t happen to them. The fact is that it can...47% of businesses were under ransomware attacks last year and that’s growing."

Grebennikov noted that the real question businesses, hospitals and telcos should be asking is how they can protect themselves from a ransomware attack that is seemingly inevitable. "The answer – a reliable backup solution that includes active protection against ransomware attacks.

He also said that shutting down computers is a short-term solution that will not help. "Only an integrated solution, combining of backup (passive) and proactive security (active) technologies, working together in one product, provides data recovery in any situation. With such sophisticated ransomware, you can’t have limitations on size of the files, number of files.

Source: Symantec blog post. The Wcry display screen.
Source: Symantec blog post. The Wcry display screen.

Symantec has reassured customers that Symantec and Norton customers are protected from the WannaCrypt malware. "Customers should run LiveUpdate and verify that they have the following definition versions or later installed in order to ensure they have the most up-to-date protection - 20170512.009", the company shared in a blog post.

Nick Savvides, Security Advocate, Symantec Asia Pacific and Japan, has the following advice for users:

Once the encryption process starts, there is little the user can do, as it happens very quickly

"It is unlikely that the user will notice the ransomware is encrypting until it’s too late. If the user realises in the seconds after running the malware, they may attempt to power off the machine, then use an external boot disk to boot the machine and run a cleaner tool like Norton Power Eraser. This may prevent the ransomware from encrypting all the files," Savvides said.  

Any computer that has been infected should not be trusted

Security tools like Norton Power Eraser, or Norton Internet Security may be able to remove the infection but the files will still be encrypted. "It is always best to restore the computer either from a backup, or reset to factory using a recovery disk and then immediately update and apply all patches," Savvides advised.

"These are important steps, as we have seen ransomware, that not just ransoms the users’ files, but also installs banking Trojans to clean out the users’ bank accounts, typically capturing the users’ banking details when they log into their bank to pay the ransom. If the backups were not encrypted by the ransomware, it is unlikely that the files were infected."

Symantec recommends affected users not pay any ransom

"Paying criminals is never recommended, as it feeds them and rewards them for their crimes. There is also no guarantee that your files will be released back to you," Savvides said.

Other best practices for protecting against ransomware include: 
  • Always keeping security software up to date
  • Keeping the operating system and other software updated. Software updates will frequently include patches for newly discovered security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by ransomware attackers.
  • Be wary of unexpected emails especially if they contain links and/or attachments.
  • Be extremely wary of any Microsoft Office email attachment that advises you to enable macros to view its content. Unless you are absolutely sure that this is a genuine email from a trusted source, do not enable macros and instead immediately delete the email.
  • Backing up important data is the single most effective way of combating ransomware infection. Organisations have to ensure that backups are appropriately protected or stored off-line so that attackers cannot delete them.
  • Using cloud services could help mitigate ransomware infection, since many retain previous versions of files, allowing subscribers to “roll back” their operations to the unencrypted form of their files.

In 2016, Singapore ranked 8th regionally for ransomware, the same position as in 2015. It is the 24th-most targeted country globally for ransomware in 2016, up from 42nd in 2015, accounting for 0.5% of ransomware infections on unique machines. According to the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 22:
  • The average ransom per victim grew to US$1,077 in 2016, up from US$294 in 2015, a 266% increase.
  • Ransomware attacks grew to 463,841 in 2016, up from 340,665 attacks in 2015 (a 36% increase).
  • One in 131 emails contained a malicious link or attachment in 2016, the highest rate in five years.
  • There was a twofold increase in attempted attacks against IoT devices over the course of 2016 and, at times of peak activity, the average device was attacked once every two minutes.


Download the patch for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003

Read the Microsoft blog post about how the ransomware spread

Read the MalwareTech blog post on how registering a command and control domain name stopped the ransomware in its tracksEditor's note: While this was a very happy accident, there is no guarantee that future ransomware attacks can be stopped the same way. 

Read the TechTrade Asia blog post about Kaspersky Lab naming ransomware its security story of the year for 2016

13 May 2017

Uncovering the trends on Orchard Road

I went for a Jane's Walk titled Trend Safari: Innovations in Your Backyard in Singapore this year. Hosted by TrendWatching's Nathania Christy, Insight & Community Lead, APAC, the walk was a abbreviated version of an actual activity that TrendWatching organises for clients to identify trends and inspire businesses to adopt new ideas for themselves.

The group meandered around parts of key shopping belt Orchard Road to discover new societal, retail and commercial trends which are taking root in the country and economy, beginning with the site of a recent pop-up booth outside the Crate & Barrel.

Pop-ups are a recent trend, and appeal to Millennials because of their temporary nature, Christy said. They also offer brands the leeway to do something different from what they are known for. The pop-up in question was by Tiger Beer, and is the only Asian venue for the company showcasing works of art made out of Air-Ink, an ink created from the particles gathered from air pollution.

The Impact Hub co-working space illustrates the rise of shared-space workplaces.Co-working spaces such as Impact Hub, which has a branch in the Cuppage area, are springing up to house startups and social enterprises which want to be part of a flexible open working space, Christy said. At co-working spaces subscribers can choose to sit anywhere and make use of shared facilities. The environment may change every day, providing a dynamic setting for co-workers to discuss ideas and collaborate with people working in other companies who may have very different perspectives from themselves.

View of bookshelves at Library@Orchard. One of two specialised public libraries was sited in the heart of Orchard Road as it is targeted at Millennials who are more likely to frequent the area. The library focuses on lifestyle, design and applied arts as opposed to offering something for everyone as happens with neighbourhood libraries. The only other specialist library is Library@Esplanade, which focuses on the performing arts.

We walked from the library through various malls, all connected underground for easy access, and stopped by an OCBC bank to watch an unusual ad from OCBC's Stay True campaign, which speaks to Millennials' demand for transparency. In the video, an OCBC executive takes a lie detector test to prove that OCBC's advertising and communications are genuine, without the fine print. 

Graffiti theme for DBS at Scape. The walk ended at Scape, which is a space at Orchard Road dedicated to youth activities. The DBS bank here has a graffiti theme for its ATM area, a marked departure from its plain red decor at other branches.

Jane's Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking tours inspired by journalist, author, and activist Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours. The walks organised for Jane's Walk weekend are always around Jacobs' birthday of May 4.

Hashtags: #JanesWalk, #UNCAGEIDEAS


Check for Jane's Walks on Peatix every May in Singapore and via the global page

Browse the WorkSmart Asia blog post on Jane's Walk 2017 in Singapore

Watch the video introducing Air-Ink

Watch the OCBC lie detector ad 

Read the WorkSmart Asia blog posts about coworking spaces by CoffeeminERC and The Collective Works

12 May 2017

ZAFUL makes payments more secure, adds COD payment method

Source: ZAFUL website. Shoes offered by the site.
Source: ZAFUL website. Shoes offered by the site.

ZAFUL, an international online fashion retailer, has updated e-certificate payment protocols and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) checkouts to make its payment system more secure.

"We are always looking to enhance the shopping experience for our customers," said ZAFUL Operations Director Sara Lau. "These new upgrades make it easier to shop and also offer more payment options."

ZAFUL is also adding local payment options for Arabic-speaking customers. In the Arab nations, ZAFUL is offering cash on delivery (COD), a common payment method for the region.

"We have received a lot of good feedback from customers about how shopping can be made easier," Lau said, "Since we ship our items to all over the world, it's hard to know what works best in every country. So we appreciate the information from shoppers and try to accommodate them as best as we can.

"The COD payment method will be tried out in Arab countries. If we find it works well and provides convenience to our customers, we'll expand it to other countries."

Mercure Bangkok Makkasan welcomes visitors

Source: Mercure Bangkok Makkasan. Representative room interior.
Source: Mercure Bangkok Makkasan. Representative room interior.

The newly-opened Mercure Bangkok Makkasan, located in Bangkok’s city centre, features 180 modern rooms and suites. With direct access to Bangkok Airport Link Makkasan station and Petchburi MRT station, the hotel offers travellers convenience and accessibility to the city’s attraction and malls located within the precinct.

Patrick Basset, COO, AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia says, “Mercure offers an authentic experience that is rooted in the local surroundings and Mercure Bangkok Makkasan is located in the area’s century-old railway heritage where Makkasan was the main depot for the State Railways of Thailand since 1910. It has since become a major rapid transit hub serving the Airport Link and MRT today. The latest opening of Mercure Bangkok Makkasan adds to the growing network of midscale brands which currently stands at seven with another three more new hotels opening in Bangkok and Pattaya within the next two years.”

Mercure Bangkok Makkasan GM Mourad Brahmi adds, “The sleek and sophisticated design of Mercure Bangkok Makkasan offers guest a locally inspired experience with a range of services one would expect from Mercure.”

The 158 Superior rooms, 18 Executive rooms and four Executive Suites feature train travel-inspired themes and are equipped with a smart TV, an in-room safe, minibar, rain shower, free Wi-Fi and views of Bangkok's city centre. 

The 25 sq m Executive rooms and 45 sq m Executive Suites offer a separate living room with complimentary minibar, espresso machine, iPod dock and BOSE Bluetooth speakers. Guest can also look forward to authentic Thai and international cuisine at The Station, an all-day-dining restaurant that features live cooking stations. The M Wine lounge offers an extensive selection of beverages and gourmet food while The Pool Bar serves a choice of refreshing juices and light snacks in a garden setting with unobstructed views of downtown Bangkok.

For leisure activities, the outdoor pool and fitness centre offer guests a workout area. Business meetings and corporate events can be held at three floor-to-ceiling meeting rooms with natural light.

Enjoy a superior room night stay with breakfast for two at THB2,000++ per room night from now until 31 October 2017. For reservations call +66 2115 3333

posted from Bloggeroid