The government set up a working team on cybersecurity last October to prepare for the 2020 Games. Based on the basic law on cybersecurity, which was enacted the following month, the government in January created a cybersecurity strategy team, headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, and the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC).
The headquarters drafted a new strategy paper emphasizing measures for the period up to 2020. The draft calls for the establishment of a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. It would be staffed with dozens of experts from both the public and private sectors whose job would be to minimize damage from cyberattacks.
Most cyberattacks against government agencies are blocked, mainly by firewalls. But personnel at the Japan Pension Service inadvertently opened email messages containing a computer virus attachment.
CSIRT will be responsible for the quick recovery of affected computer systems, on the premise that “there is no such thing as perfection when it comes to cybersecurity,” one top government official said.
In an effort to give the team much-needed experience, the headquarters is aiming for a 2018 launch ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and just a year before the Tokyo Games.
For the Olympics, “we are concerned most about disruption caused by cyberattacks against key infrastructure such as transportation networks and energy facilities,” a government official said.
The NISC has conducted competition-style training for the cyberattack response capabilities of 12 government ministries and agencies, as well as an exercise for operators of key infrastructure. It hopes to promote information-sharing through public-private collaboration.