Strong UK Presence At Int. CyberSecurity Symposium

Keio University Opens New Cyber Security Research Centre – UK Expertise will be Key in the Years Ahead

On February 29, 2016, Keio University in Tokyo held an International Cybersecurity Symposium to commemorate the opening of its new cyber security research centre. Key figures from Japanese, British and American government, industry and academia gathered to spend a full day discussing the protection of critical national infrastructure – a key theme for Japan as it readies itself for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. With strong presentations from government, industry and academia, UK speakers demonstrated how the UK continues to punch above its weight in cyber security and will be a key partner for Japan in the years to come.

UK Cyber Security Companies Possess the Knowledge and Experience Needed in Japan

Julia Longbottom, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy Tokyo, opened for the UK with a welcome address outlining the UK government’s latest priorities and initiatives in cyber security, thereby preparing the way for FCO Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Robin Grimes, who was on a visit to Japan from London, to deliver his keynote speech on how the UK successfully and safely delivered the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. A key theme that came out of both Professor Grimes and Minister Longbottom’s speeches was the importance of public-private partnerships and international collaboration. Representatives of Japanese and American institutions – such as Japan’s NPA and NISC, as well as the American Department of Homeland Security – touched on similar issues, underlining the desire for all parties to work together to combat the global cyber threat.

British Businesses are Already Gaining Recognition in the Japanese Market

The industry section of the conference comprised presentations and a panel discussion from companies, with household names such as NTT, Fujitsu and Cisco giving their input on how best to counter the cyber threat to critical national infrastructure. UK industry was strongly represented by three companies that have been gathering attention in Japan. Surevine CEO Stuart Murdoch gave a remote video demonstration of his company’s Threatvine solution, while NE Asia Regional Director John Kirch of Darktrace spoke about a new approach to threat intelligence that is inspired by the human immune system, and Senior Manager Kazuhiro Hayashi of Pricewaterhouse Coopers presented the results of PwC’s latest research on attitudes towards cyber security among Japanese companies. As with the government section of the event, key themes that emerged from the industry discussion included the importance of international collaboration, public-private partnerships, and the need for a holistic approach to cyber security that takes account of the human factor as well as the technological solutions.

UK-Japan Collaboration is Likely to Continue

The third section of the event featured speakers from academia, who discussed the importance of research, industry-academic collaboration, and the urgent need to train and educate the next generation of cyber security specialists. Professor Chris Hankin of Imperial College London painted an overview of the UK’s academic ecosystem, highlighting its Centres of Excellence and various schemes the government has put in place to strengthen the nation’s cyber readiness.

The Japanese government’s national cyber security strategy emphasises the need for close cooperation between government, industry and academia, not just in Japan, but globally as well. By reaching out to speakers from the UK cyber security ecosystem to share their expertise alongside Japanese and American presenters, organisers of the event demonstrated how Japan sees the UK as a key partner for Japan across the public, private and academic sectors.

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Article by Daniel Bjornstrom, March 2016.