How do you use technology to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I am working for the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government. It ensures that the Government provides the public with information and services they need in an efficient and convenient manner, and supports government departments to make the best use of ICT to achieve their policy objectives.

As a representative of the Government Computer Emergency Response Team Hong Kong (GovCERT.HK) team, I need to liaise and collaborate with local and international parties. This role enables me to implement and support public education through awareness programmes on information and cyber security, to strengthen the sharing of cyber threat intelligence, and to identify trends of emerging threats and cyber attacks.

The most interesting programme in recent years was collaborating with information security professional organisations to visit schools across the territory and deliver information security talks in a relax and interactive way, with the aim of equipping students and teachers to become smart Internet users.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2017?

In May this year, WannaCry ransomware attacked hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe, which was one of the biggest stories in the cyber world. Our team worked closely with the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team, the computer emergency response teams of the Mainland and other governments to exchange threat information.

Within the Government, we issued a series of timely advice to urge all government departments for action. At the community level, we collaborated with the police and the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre to disseminate advice to enterprises and the general public so as to enhance the overall cyber resilience capabilities to protect their computers from ransomware threats. With the joint efforts of all stakeholders, the impact of WannaCry attacks on Hong Kong was kept to a minimum.

In fact, cyber attacks are never temporal, so we never have a dull moment in cyber security. We have to cope with the speed in changes of technologies; we need to maintain dialogues with the industry and partners on the latest trends in cyber threats; and we must act swiftly to adopt security and mitigation measures to protect ourselves.

All these make cyber security and our jobs so interesting and exciting.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2018?

As shown in the WannaCry ransomware attack in May this year, prompt dissemination of cyber security information and security advice can go a long way to minimise the impact of cyber attacks. I am interested in exploring innovative and advanced technologies, such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These could facilitate our initiative to implement a pilot programme for the industry to share cyber security information in a more effective and efficient way.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2017, what should it be?

“Data is going to be so important to human life in the future”, by Jack Ma, Alibaba. Nowadays, devices are smart and Internet-connected. They are changing the ways people live, and improve quality of life. However, they also present unprecedented challenges to cyber security and privacy. We have to protect the devices and secure the data so that they can bring more good than harm to us.

What was the greatest challenge that you overcame in 2017?

The greatest challenge for me in 2017 is work-life balance. I have spent most of my time on work. I kept on working through different communication means and updating myself on the latest technologies even during holidays. It makes me forget that I am still a human who needs a break from time to time.

I am being more “selfish” now by taking more breaks and staying away from those communication means temporarily, so as to recharge myself to perform even better than before.

What book did you read that most interested or inspired you?

“Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life”, written by Dr. Spencer Johnson. This is an amazing, inspirational and great management book about the attitude towards change. The book talks about two little people and two mice in a maze, searching for cheese, where each character represents a different attitude towards change, with cheese being what we consider as success.

The moral of this book is that we should overcome our fear and adapt to changes when facing difficulties. Otherwise we will be eliminated by the society. We should always remember that changes do happen and we have to embrace them, enjoy them, or even better, be able to look forward to them. There is a bigger, better, and tastier piece of cheese just around the corner. Let’s keep going!

Who inspired you in 2017, and why?

Everyone in my life, including my family, colleagues and friends, does inspire me from time to time. I believe all of us have unique stories, characters and views. We are actually influencing and inspiring each other as we interact.

If I must choose one who inspired me most in 2017, then it must be Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR. She shows no fear to changes and odds in her career. She is simply the role model of all working ladies.