Speech by S for S at Cyber Security Professionals Awards Presentation Ceremony

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, at the Cyber Security Professionals Awards Presentation Ceremony today (January 6):

Stephen (Chairman of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Mr Stephen Ng), Fanny (Chairperson of Board of Directors of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Mrs Fanny Law), Agnes (Executive Director of Hong Kong Productivity Council, Mrs Agnes Mak), CP (Commissioner of Police, Mr Lo Wai-chung), GCIO (Government Chief Information Officer, Mr Allen Yeung), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon.

     First of all, I am delighted to be here today and to witness with all of you the presentation of the first-ever Cyber Security Professionals Awards.

     Today's awards provide an interactive platform in bringing together cyber security professionals from various industries to share their best practices, with a common mission to protect our cyber space as well as develop a vibrant cyber security ecosystem. I am very glad that the awards, though only in their first year, have received overwhelming support from different sectors and attracted more than 160 nominations. A total of 61 cyber security managers or practitioners were eventually selected for the Awards out of keen competition.

     To all awardees, I would like to offer my warmest congratulations. The awards you receive today may be small in size and value, but they represent the most earnest recognition of your hard work and significant contributions in the cyber security field over the years. I take pride in the remarkable achievements of you all.

     As you would all agree, the rapid advancement of information technology and increasing popularity of smart devices have brought about great convenience in our daily lives. Hong Kong has a very high Internet household penetration rate of nearly 80 per cent. However, the proliferation of online activities and Internet of Things devices have, at the same time, exposed us to much higher risks of cyber security threats and made the world much more vulnerable to cyber criminals. The protection of valuable intellectual property and business information in digital form has also become an increasingly critical management issue. 

     According to the Symantec 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, Hong Kong has climbed from the 58th place in 2014 to seventh in 2016 in the regional threat ranking for Asia Pacific. There was also a staggering 500 per cent increase in the number of cyber security incident reports received by the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team between 2010 and 2015. Increasingly, more and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet for a diverse range of criminal activities, either physical or virtual, posing serious threats to victims not just in Hong Kong but also worldwide. Between 2002 and 2015, the annual number of local reports of technology crimes has increased significantly by 24 times. Over the past six years, the respective annual financial losses have also increased by 30 times to $1.8 billion in 2015.

     Today, cyber security and cyber crime continue to impact businesses of all sizes and infiltrate all our daily lives. The threats are real, the challenges are imminent, and the impact is far-reaching.

     On the Government's part, we are committed to developing Hong Kong into a smart city with the objectives of ensuring the sustainable growth of the city and enhancing the quality of life of our citizens.

We will not leave the trend of cyber crime unchecked. The Police upgraded the Technology Crime Division to the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau (CSTCB) two years ago, with the mission to enhance the Police's capability in combating technology crimes and handling cyber security incidents. The CSTCB will continue to strengthen its six pillars of capability, namely (a) high-standard investigations, (b) accredited forensic examination, (c) intelligence management, (d) response rate to cyber security incidents, (e) development of professional training and (f) last but not least, stakeholder engagement. Today's awards are a vivid example of the Government's efforts in stakeholder engagement, which we very much treasure and attach the greatest importance to.

     In the combat against cyber crimes, the Government cannot do it alone. The Government has to partner with different stakeholders, such as all of you who are here today and the organisations behind you. We must also co-operate with other agencies internationally, and form a close cluster of information and experience exchange. There are things the Government can do and things that you and the citizens-at-large can do, and it is very crucial that we understand each other's role and create the best synergy through co-operation and collaboration.

     In the years to come, I am confident that the Cyber Security Professionals Awards would become a signature event in the cyber security field. I congratulate the Police, the Government Computer Emergency Response Team Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre for a job well done to make this event successful. I must also express my heartfelt gratitude to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation for their support and generous sponsorship.

     Lastly, I would like to congratulate the award winners one more time. Hold your title with pride. Your every effort counts. The sharing of your success would inspire other industries in Hong Kong.

Together we will make a safer and well trusted cyber environment for Hong Kong. Thank you.

Published on: 2017-01-06

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