National

Japan to boost cyberattack vigilance to cover space, nuclear, housing agencies

Kyodo

The Japanese government plans to expand the scope of its cyberattack monitoring from the fiscal year beginning next April to include roughly 35 key affiliated agencies, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, government sources said Tuesday.

The expansion of the round-the-clock monitoring, which has so far been limited to ministries and other central government offices, is believed to be part of the government’s efforts to beef up the nation’s cybersecurity ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

In the wake of a massive leak of personal information from the Japan Pension Service last year that was blamed on cyberattacks, the Diet revised laws on cybersecurity in April enabling the government to expand the scope of entities to be monitored for such attacks.

Agencies will be picked for monitoring based on their potential impact on the lives of the people in the event of a cyberattack. They are expected to include the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization and the Urban Renaissance Agency, a public housing agency that handles massive amounts of personal information, according to the sources.

The government is expected to finalize the list of newly monitored entities this fall, and ¥1 billion ($9.27 million) is expected to be requested for a new budget from April 2017 as related expenses.

The Information-Technology Promotion Agency, a cybersecurity arm of the government, will be in charge of monitoring the agencies around the clock.