According to a recent press release, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology gave a speech at the meeting of the Information Technology and Broadcasting Panel of the Legislative Council.
In his speech, the Secretary for Innovation and Technology noted that in the past year, there has been an upward trend in global information security incidents, and similar situations have occurred in Hong Kong.
According to a report by the Hong Kong Computer Security Incident Co-ordination Centre, a total of about 10,000 security incident reports were received in 2008, an increase of about 55% over the year of 2017. The number of technology crimes in the Hong Kong Police Force has reached over 7,800. Zong, about 40% higher than in 2017.
It was noted that cybersecurity, and information security, in general, is taken very seriously by the HKSAR government. In the past year, apart from the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (UNOG), the Police Force and the Hong Kong Computer Security Incident Co-ordination Centre, the concerned departments have worked implemented consistent measures, including actively promoting the importance of promoting cybersecurity to various trades.
These government groups are working to provide information on good information security risk management, proper handling and protection of customers’ personal data as well as seminars and workshops, production of promotional videos, special pages and events to enhance the ability of citizens, teachers and students to defend against cyber-attacks.
In addition, the Office launched the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partner Pilot Program last year to promote cross-industry collaboration and cybersecurity information sharing.
In just three months, more than 100 institutions have joined. In addition, the Government has expanded the scope and funding of the Technology Voucher Scheme to further help organizations reduce the risk of cybersecurity.
In terms of human resources, the Government actively encourages tertiary institutions to add more information security courses in IT-related subjects. Through the Technology Talent Entry Scheme and the Hong Kong Talent List, the Government has attracted and imported more technical talents including cybersecurity professionals to come to Hong Kong.
Within the Government, the Office will continue to implement a series of measures, including strict compliance with information security policies and guidelines, and regular review by the Office of the Intellectual Property Office to provide security alerts on computer systems and software vulnerabilities, conduct cross-departmental cybersecurity exercises and strengthen Civil servant training to improve the knowledge of government personnel against cyber-attacks.
Cybersecurity has become one of the most important security issues in the world, and it is also a problem that Hong Kong must continue to pay attention to.
The Secretary for Innovation and Technology noted that his department and the government will continue to strive to enhance the safety of the community and protect personal privacy. It will also provide appropriate professional support to local enterprises to provide a safe and secure network environment for the community.
The private sector
In an earlier report, OpenGov Asia noted that firms and organizations across Hong Kong are tightening their cybersecurity measures. The tightening up is a result of the rise in the rate of cybercrimes in Hong Kong, particularly in the banking sector.
As more digital banking solutions are introduced, cybersecurity risks have increased. Thus, it is imperative for the banking sector as well to step up risk management to protect the interests of their customers.
Thus, it clear that both the Government and the private sector will be increasing focus on cybersecurity this year. It may not be a reach to expect a new public-private partnership (PPP) in the area soon.