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Hong Kong: Launch of ‘Smart & Secure City Hall’

Image Credits: HKPC, Press Release
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The Hong Kong Productivity Council Cyber Security (HKPC Cyber Security) unveiled the “Smart & Secure City Hall,” a platform designed to showcase a wide array of cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions and innovative technologies. This initiative aims to emphasise the critical role of cybersecurity in the development of a smart city.

HKPC Cyber Security aims to provide high-quality advanced technologies and inventive services, supporting organisations of all sizes in bolstering their cybersecurity defences against potential threats. Through the Smart & Secure City Hall, HKPC Cyber Security aspires to raise awareness about cybersecurity among businesses and the general public while fostering the adoption of Innovation and Technology (I&T) to contribute to Hong Kong’s transformation into an international I&T hub and a smart city.

The opening ceremony of the Hall witnessed the participation of the Secretary for Security of the HKSAR Government, the Chairman of HKPC, and the Executive Director of HKPC.

The Hall’s inauguration garnered support from over 40 groups and organisations from the technology industry, academia, and public sectors. It serves as a platform to showcase 15 innovative cybersecurity solutions, allowing industry professionals and the public to gain insights into the latest developments and application solutions in cybersecurity. The Hall encompasses the most recent cybersecurity technologies and solutions spanning government, industry, academia, and research sectors.

The Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT) highlighted six common characteristics of phishing attacks, such as fake senders, grammatical errors, unrealistic rewards, and misleading links. They also unveiled an interactive device aimed at introducing DeepFake technology, enhancing the public’s ability to defend against fraud and online pitfalls.

The “CyberDefender Metaverse” platform from the Hong Kong Police Force comprises three distinct virtual spaces, including the Web 3.0-themed Gallery and Auditorium. Visitors can explore these spaces to gain firsthand experience of the metaverse and learn about related knowledge by scanning a QR code.

Additionally, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, and the Hong Kong Consumer Council provided practical tips on digital identity, privacy protection, and home surveillance camera cybersecurity. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University also exhibited a smart defence system for connected vehicles and smartphone security.

The prevalence of cybersecurity threats and attacks has been on the rise. In the first half of 2023, HKCERT managed 3,802 security incidents. Botnet-related incidents accounted for the majority, totalling 1,814 cases (48%), while phishing attacks ranked second with 1,734 cases (46%), marking a 17% increase from the first half of 2022. Furthermore, the number of phishing URLs surged by 22% compared to the same period in 2022, reaching 10,627 links. HKCERT has identified five major information security risks for 2023, including phishing attacks for identity or credential theft, AI-based attacks, crime-as-a-service, security risks associated with Web 3.0, and the widespread adoption of IoT, which creates more opportunities for cyberattacks.

The Smart & Secure City Hall intends to enhance awareness among enterprises and the public regarding the security threats posed by new technologies like AI, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse. Through informative displays and interactive activities, HKPC Cyber Security aims to educate the industry and the public on utilising technologies like cybersecurity monitoring and data analysis to prevent cyberattacks and crimes, including safeguarding sensitive personal information to ensure personal privacy protection.

The Secretary for Security of the HKSAR Government emphasised the significance of cybersecurity in the smart city context. He emphasised that the exhibition strongly emphasises ‘security,’ with cybersecurity playing a central role. He pointed out that various booths at the exhibition showcase advanced cybersecurity technologies, preventive measures, and collaborative research initiatives in partnership with local universities. In addition to the exhibition, HKCERT has been actively delivering support services related to cyber and information security to benefit local enterprises and the general public.

The Chairman of HKPC highlighted the council’s mission to raise awareness about cybersecurity’s importance and promote the adoption of advanced technologies in building a smart and secure city through the Smart & Secure City Hall. He acknowledged the increasingly sophisticated nature of information security incidents in the era of global digital transformation.

HKPC and HKCERT are dedicated to safeguarding local enterprises and citizens from potential threats, offering analysis and advice on vital information security issues. Collaborative efforts, he believes, will enable Hong Kong to establish a world-class smart city that is secure, efficient, and sustainable, leveraging innovative technologies.

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