Japan Considers Emergency Cybersecurity Measures Ahead of 2020 Olympics

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A panel of experts from Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications proposed a set of emergency cybersecurity measures on Monday ahead of this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

The measures were shared amid fears that Japan will experience a surge in cyber-attacks while hosting the world-famous sporting event this summer.  

After making a series of recommendations, the panel called for the government to draw up plans to introduce cybersecurity training at a local government level. The panel pointed out that while almost all central government bodies in Japan have received cybersecurity training, nearly half of all local governments have not been taught how to respond to a cyber-attack. 

The panel called for the government to quickly determine whether adequate security measures were in place for devices installed in the country's transportation infrastructure and other important public facilities that may be vulnerable to cyber-attack because of their use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. 

Any cybersecurity issues that arise following an examination of the security of these devices should be flagged and reported to administrators, who should then address the problem, advised the panel. The panel proposed that thorough cybersecurity checks be conducted on devices whose manufacturer-issued passwords have never been changed.

A further measure suggested by the panel was for any cyber-attacks that occur in Japan to be reported in a timely manner. They also called for organizations to practice information sharing.

In their emergency proposal, the experts wrote that "it is desirable to consider publishing information on cyber-attacks swiftly at the point in which leaks of personal information are suspected."

After highlighting the risk of data leaks from using Wi-Fi services, the panel called for the government to warn businesses and individuals against sharing any personal or confidential information when using Wi-Fi.

Japan has had seven years in which to prepare for the arrival of the 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, after being selected to host the world-famous sporting event on September 7, 2013. 

The event, also known as the Tokyo Olympic Games, will take place between July 24 and August 9, 2020, in the nation's capital city. Tokyo will then host the Tokyo Paralympic Games from August 25 through September 6.

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