Will Lead Time to 2020 Summer Olympics Be Enough to Repair Tokyo’s Cybersecurity Shortfalls?


Major sporting events are always logistical nightmares, but the road to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is already as full of cybersecurity potholes as the road to Rio de Janeiro.

There are more than three-years before the 2020 Olympic Games get underway.  Japan had already been focused on Olympic cybersecurity for close to three-years before now. Japanese government officials have undergone seminars with the University of Maryland, signed cybersecurity cooperation agreements with Israel and established a cybersecurity strategy team led by a cabinet secretary.

This long-term preparation is partly spurred by the shortage of Japanese information technology professionals, estimated by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to be over 100,000, with the shortage projected to grow to almost 200,000 by 2020.

And to make matters worse, a Japanese information technology company estimates far more than half of current Japanese information security professionals lack the skills necessary to provide Olympic-level security.

The cooperation with Israel cybersecurity companies is already paying off as Japan recently announced a cybersecurity training and simulation center, as collaboration between an Israeli company, Cyberbit, and a Japanese cybersecurity company, Ni Cybersecurity.

The center will accelerate “the certification of new cybersecurity experts,” improve the skills of existing professionals, with a focus on government and finance organizations, according to a Ni Cybersecurity. They are hoping to train 50,000 new cybersecurity professionals by 2020, according to Ni.

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