Japan to lead biggest ever cyber-defence drill

Out-Law News | 14 Aug 2020 | 11:31 am | 1 min. read

Japan and over 20 countries will join forces for a digital defence exercise to prepare for possible cyber attacks on critical infrastructure as coronavirus-related cyber attacks increase, a Japan news agency said

Those countries include the US, European countries and the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members. The exercise will be held online. This will be the first cyber defence drill on this scale organized by the Japanese government.

Nikkei Asian Review said that Tokyo has already joined the US-led international exercise Cyber Storm and has held drills with ASEAN.

From 2006 the National Information Security Centre (NISC) regularly held cybersecurity drills with major infrastructure operators and the government agencies that oversee them in order to improve Japan's domestic alertness. NISC plays as a focal point in coordinating intra-government collaboration and promoting further multi-stakeholder partnership.

According to chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, the efficient of detecting and reacting on cyberattacks is quite important - it'll be more feasible to act fast and appropriately by close cooperating with other countries.

Early in 2016, the Japanese government created the Industrial Cybersecurity Promotion Agency (ICPA) for protecting critical infrastructure and it began functioning in 2017. Japan took measures in last January to protect crucial infrastructure from cyber attacks and the government revised its guidelines for establishing safety principles for information and communication, finance, aviation, airports, railways up to 14 areas of crucial infrastructure in April the same year.

Infrastructure expert I-Ching Tseng of Pinsent Masons, the firm behind Out-Law, said: "Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cyber attacks and email scams. The potential damages caused by cyber attacks cannot be stressed enough. Inter-governmental cooperations are an important step towards safeguarding critical infrastructures."

"In addition to government initiatives however, as cyber attacks have the potential to cause substantial economic and reputational damages, private companies also have important roles in preparedness and awareness on potential cyber and data securities issues," she said.