Information and Security - Overlooked Measures against Cyberattacks

Fujitsu Security Forum 2016 Special Presentation Report

Fujitsu Security Forum 2016 was held on November 30 at JP TOWER Hall & Conference in Tokyo. This report describes the special presentation at the opening session entitled "Information and Security - Overlooked Measures against Cyberattacks" given by William Hiroyuki Saito, Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office.

Japan's Concerns about Information Security

William Hiroyuki Saito, Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office

At the start of his presentation, Mr. Saito noted that, "When thinking about countermeasures against cyberattacks, we must consider security from the points of view of safety, costs, and convenience. By definition, this is what security should be. However, many companies tend to overlook convenience."
Referring to the fingerprint authentication system and non-contact type IC card system that he developed, he continued: "Today, few people think about these technologies in terms of security. Security is no longer something related to scary events; rather, we should consider it to be something that improves the convenience of people's lives."
Next, he gave voice to his worries about the current situation of Japanese companies, which have become concerned about information security in order to address the threat of increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks: "Utilization of ICT like Fintech should make our lives more convenient, but Japan is falling behind in the use of ICT compared to other countries due to concerns about cyber security."
At the same time, Mr. Saito referenced YouTube, Facebook, and other companies that created new business models by utilizing networks. These companies rank at the top in terms of market capitalization in the video and advertising sectors, and they can be said to have succeeded through cyber security. Pointing out that security is the key to promoting business, he continued: "The Internet was used as a business tool for the first time only after security had been ensured. The continued evolution of security promotes network businesses."

Ever Evolving Threats and the Eight Key Points of Cyber Security

Mr. Saito described a cyberattack that targeted ticket machines for San Francisco's subway system that occurred just before his presentation.

Regarding the rapid evolution of cyberattacks, Mr. Saito stated as follows: "Today, threats are not limited to cyberspace; cyberattacks may cause physical destruction. With the spread of IoT, various devices connected to the Internet, such as copy machines and vehicles, can be targeted by attacks."
He listed the following eight key points for cyber security that must be ensured to protect companies and information from attacks: authentication, integrity, authorization, accountability, confidentiality, non-repudiation, privacy, and availability.

Points Often Overlooked in Security Measures

The three key factors of cyber security

People tend to have a negative impression of security, such as that it is scary or troublesome. However, Mr. Saito argued as follows: "By properly implementing countermeasures, companies' competitiveness will eventually improve, leading to differentiation from and advantages against competitors." He identified three factors - "safety," "cost," and "convenience" - that are essential elements of cyber security, and he noted that it is important to implement security measures while balancing these three factors. "Many companies tend to overlook convenience, focusing only on safety and their budgets. However, ideally security should be convenient and easy to use, and should lead to improved services." (Mr. Saito)
Still, there is no such thing as perfect security. "It's only natural that accidents happen from time to time. So, it is important to enhance 'resilience' in order to flexibly respond to unexpected events. I think this ability is one factor that makes a company stronger." (Mr. Saito)

Japan's Advantages - Safety and Security

Lastly, Mr. Saito emphasized that, from a global point of view, "safety and security" are Japan's advantages. He concluded his presentation with an example from Japan's automobile industry: "Japanese cars are purchased all over the world because they are safe and secure. How we protect information and how we provide it to new industries and services are Japan's challenges for the future. Together with all of you, I want to work on these challenges."