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Business

Cyberattack simulations emerge as growth industry

Japan has been experiencing an uptick in cyberattacks in recent years.

TOKYO -- NEC and other information technology firms are selling systems and services that enable simulated drills to test the readiness of companies and government agencies against cyberattacks.

Starting this month, NEC will market in Japan a platform developed by U.S.-based Northrup Grumman that replicates hackers and a client's cybersecurity system inside high-powered computers. The attackers will try to infiltrate the clients' systems to either obtain confidential information or destroy data.

Meanwhile, the cybersecurity team will try to detect the attacks, isolate computers infected by viruses and identify the servers from which the infiltration originated.

The drills are based on real-life scenarios and reflect the latest threats that have cropped up, said Larry Deatrick , a security specialist at Northrop Gruman.

Because roughly 100 people can participate in these drills, NEC is also looking to capture demand from Japanese government agencies like the Ministry of Defense. Since installation costs will run into hundreds of millions of yen apiece, the company is looking at 3 billion yen ($27.9 million) in sales in four years' time.

For private-sector companies, NEC will provide cloud services instead of entire systems, which are more expensive. Potential clients include railway operators, power companies and financial institutions.

NTT Data Intellilink started selling a similar system this spring developed by American firm Sypris Electronics. The company made its first such domestic delivery to Kyushu University, which is training data security specialists. The Nippon Telegraph & Telephone unit foresees 1.5 billion yen in sales in three years.

The Japanese arm of U.S.-based Symantec is providing virtual cybersecurity training courses, which cost 5 million yen per participating company. Teams are divided into hackers and defenders, and companies' security administrators learn the characteristics of cyberattacks through systems located on Symantec's premises.

Globally, it takes a company 205 days on average to notice a cyberattack, but that lag time balloons to 900 days in Japan, according to U.S. cybersecurity company FireEye.

(Nikkei)

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