Market Intelligence
Cybersecurity Japan Asia Pacific

Japan Teleworking Cybersecurity Risks

The pandemic combined with the postponed Olympics accelerated Japan’s effort to reach 70% telework adoption.

Cybersecurity is a topic of vital importance for many domestic and foreign companies. The rapid rise of American cybersecurity companies doing business in Japan indicates the United States has an advantageous position against foreign and domestic competitors. The Japanese government stressed the importance of teleworking in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Various government ministries collaborated to implement Telework Days as early as 2017.  The aim was to promote the spread of telework throughout Japan and to alleviate traffic congestion during the Games.  

According to the survey by MIC, 19% of the companies with over 100 employees implemented telework policy, but only 7% of the companies planned to adopt it in 2018. The survey shows that approximately 50% of the companies with more than USD 10 million capital have telework systems. The top industry adopter of telework model is the tech sector (40%), followed by financial services (38%), manufacturing (21%) and rounding out by retail, construction, and real estate (under 20%). 

The pandemic combined with the postponed Olympics accelerated Japan’s effort to reach 70% telework adoption.  One of the major concerns is securing communications and information. Today’s employee uses more devices to work, and Japanese companies must deal with a challenge they were not adequately prepared to handle. How to keep a productive workforce working remotely that does not simultaneously increase the risk from attackers. MIC released a Telework Security Guideline version 4.0 in 2018 designed for corporate managers to help understand the cybersecurity risks and preparations. 

It is also crucial that the Internet of Things (IoT) systems are developed, provided that all systems and data are connected. Japan’s National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) is the leading agency in the Central Government responsible for the national strategy. NISC guides all Central Government agencies in establishing and implementing cybersecurity policies and measures. NISC released General Framework for Secured IoT Systems in 2018 to assure four requirements: safety, confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

NISC also announced its National Strategy for Cyber Security 2019. The new strategy identifies an urgent need for reinforcing cybersecurity measures in all levels of Japanese society and all aspects of technological development. Recently NISC put a notice to teleworkers on the website to underscore the security focus of teleworking including using multi-factor authentication, updating the software of devices and equipment and preparing for incidents.

For more information, contact Ms. Yasue Morimoto, Commercial Assistant at Yasue.Morimoto@trade.gov 

05/06/2020