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Opening address by S for IT at Information Security Summit 2017

【Hong Kong】

Following is the opening address by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the Information Security Summit 2017 today (August 15):

Willy (Chairman of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, Mr Willy Lin), Dale (Chairman of the Information Security Summit 2017 Organising Committee, Mr Dale Johnstone), Stephen (Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Mr Stephen Wong), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning to you all and welcome to the Information Security Summit 2017. The theme this year is “Effective Use of Analytics and Threat Intelligence to Secure Organizations”, with the underlying message that today’s effective cyber defence strategy requires technologies and innovations to protect us from the ever-increasing threats.

Advancement in technology and increase in urbanisation and population present more challenges to city management than ever before. There is a growing expectation for Government to provide core city infrastructure and deliver public services more efficiently and cost-effectively. Doing this requires the use of smart technologies.

Cyber security has become a necessary, enabling pillar of smart city management and development. The advancement and adoption of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence for the smart city framework offer new opportunities in economic development, but at the same time require solutions to address cyber security risks. We must tackle these risks seriously, holistically and proactively.

In fact, large-scale cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent in today’s highly interconnected world. According to a study published by an information security-related international organisation in June, 80 per cent of the businesses today believe they would be hit by a cyber attack within this year. The assortment of cyber attacks ranging from malware to distributed denial-of-service is becoming more difficult to deal with using traditional counter-measures. Not long ago, threats of ransomware swept across the globe and affected hundreds of thousands of computers in a very short time. Today, cyber attacks are no longer limited to targeted victims. The threats now affect all businesses and individuals, who rely so much on the Internet in our daily lives.

To deal with the evolving cyber security threat, the HKSAR Government reviews and updates, on a regular basis, relevant information security policy and guidelines through reference to international standards and industry practices. This enhances our capabilities in detecting and responding to emerging cyber attacks and security incidents. We have also implemented multiple layers of security defence to monitor, prevent and detect security threats.

It is also imperative for us to embrace new ideas and technologies to develop a more holistic and proactive solution against cyber threats. Security analytics and threat information sharing are critical. With the use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence such as machine learning, security analytics facilitates the collection, correlation and analysis of huge volumes of raw data and intelligence collected from different sources, and the Government can formulate and implement actions against cyber threats more effectively and quickly.

Throughout the years, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) has been a key partner of the Government in cyber security. The HKPC has been engaged by the Government to operate the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) to facilitate dissemination of cyber security information and offer advice on preventive measures to promote information security awareness to the general public. For example, the HKPC hosted an international conference this June on knowledge sharing and best practices of cyber security, with a special emphasis on the transformation to Industry 4.0.

In addition, the Government Computer Emergency Response Team Hong Kong works closely with HKCERT and the Hong Kong Police Force to share cyber threat information via collaboration with the regional and global communities of computer emergency response teams. As a result, we have done well in tackling and defending against the recent global WannaCry ransomware attacks.

Last but not least, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the HKPC for organising today’s Summit. The Summit has become an excellent platform for industry experts and practitioners to exchange ideas and solutions to further improve the overall cyber security of Hong Kong. It is indeed a pleasure for me to see the Summit has both grown in number and significance. I wish everyone a fruitful sharing and a rewarding learning experience. I also wish all the visitors a pleasant and enjoyable stay in Hong Kong.

 

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