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Japan to deepen ranks of network defenders with eye to Olympics

TOKYO -- Japan will seek to train 50,000 people in the public and private sectors ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics here to help guard the nation against cyberattacks.

     The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has put forward a comprehensive set of cybersecurity measures and intends to request around 20 billion yen ($161 million) in related funding over the four years starting in fiscal 2016.

     Competitive training exercises will be held, pitting trainees drawn from local authorities, schools, and small and midsize enterprises against virtual threats. Central government agencies held their first such competition in March. Participants vied to become the fastest to detect and assess the damage from a simulated attack on government networks.

     The ministry will oversee drills meant to prepare for the possibility of threats linked to the Olympics, such as attacks on the official Web site or the ticket sales system. Trainees will play attackers or defenders in head-to-head training exercises. An estimated 200 million cyberattacks coincided with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

     Some 160,000 of the 265,000 information security personnel in Japan lack skills needed for the job, the Information-technology Promotion Agency estimates.

     The ministry will also lead the creation of industrywide forums that companies can use to share best practices and other cybersecurity knowledge.


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