Japan goes on hiring spree to boost cybersecurity defence
Written by Finbarr Toesland Wed 7 Jul 2021
Japan’s Ministry of Defence is preparing to hire hundreds of cybersecurity experts in an effort to protect itself from hostile nations and other aggressive actors, according to a report from Nikkei.
The Japanese military plans to increase the number of cybersecurity staff in the Self-Defence Forces (SDF) from 660 to more than 1,000 by 2023.
In addition, a new cyber defence unit will be formed to oversee cyber issues for the SDF and to boost efficiency. A cybersecurity training course has also been added to the Ground Self-Defence Force’s engineering school and highly skilled staff at cybersecurity firms in Japan are joining the defence ministry to boost the capability of the forces.
The rise of cyberattacks across the globe shows no signs of abating, with sophisticated attacks originating from both state-sponsored groups and lone individuals. Unlike conventional threats that may have sought to steal data, ransomware attacks can throw organisations and government agencies into disarray. The Colonial Pipeline cyber attack earlier this year illustrates the widespread disruption hackers can cause.
A report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank found Japan’s cyber capabilities to be Tier Three, the bottom of the scale, indicating the urgent need to modernise the cyber forces. The report concluded that Japan’s cyberspace defences are not especially strong and few corporations are willing to meet the costs of supporting them.
“Japan still does not have an official military cyber strategy or an official military doctrine pertaining to cyberspace, though it has made modest organisational changes in its armed forces, including the creation of some dedicated cyber units. Its offensive cyber capabilities remain underdeveloped because of the constitutional and political constraints on the country’s use of force,” said the report.