National

Government crafting new plan to fend off cyberthreats

Kyodo

The Administration on Monday unveiled a draft strategy to bolster the nation’s defense against potential cyberattacks, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noting that beefed-up cybersecurity is “indispensable” for the country’s growth.

Speaking at a meeting of the nation’s cybersecurity headquarters at the prime minister’s office, Abe also expressed hope that Japanese companies will take further steps against cyberattacks, portraying such moves as an investment rather than a cost.

“We need to enhance our capabilities more than ever to cope with cyberattacks, which have no borders,” Abe told the meeting.

Under the strategy’s five basic principles, the administration aims to ensure that cyberspace is a rule-based platform that enables free exchanges of information, and is open to various participants.

It also aims to deter malicious acts by encouraging users to take proactive steps, and to enhance coordination among entities in the public and private sectors.

The Cabinet hopes to formally approve the strategy — an update of an existing plan crafted in 2013 — in June after seeking public comments, officials said.

The strategy encourages companies to be more security-minded, and to take necessary steps when designing and developing products, as goods and services are increasingly connected by the Internet.

Cybersecurity has taken on greater importance for Japan as it plans to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Abe told the meeting his administration will do all it can to prevent cyberterrorism.

The number of cyberattacks on government and other organizations detected in Japan doubled in 2014 from the previous year to a record 25.66 billion, according to data by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.