Sasakawa USA released a report on November 30 of its recent “tabletop exercise” in Tokyo, which simulated a major cyberattack during the 2019 World Rugby Cup to be hosted in Japan. The report, unveiled during a panel discussion at the 13th Annual U.S.-Japan Critical Infrastructure Protection Forum in Washington, D.C., offers insights into the state of preparedness of Japanese stakeholders in the face of a large scale cyberattack.
William “Bud” Roth, Cybersecurity Fellow at Sasakawa USA, moderated the “Cyber 3 and TTX” panel. Other panel members included Linton Wells II, Executive Advisor for the C4I and Cyber Center at George Mason University, and Yurie Ito, Founder and Executive Director of CyberGreen Institute.
The U.S.-Japan CIP brings together government and private sector leaders from both sides for off-the-record discussions. Audience members listened to the panelists, all participants in the exercise, provide details about a series of simulated attacks on the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the players’ responses, and recommendations for future protocols and procedures that government and the private sector should implement immediately.
“Large-scale cyber threats require coordinated, cross-sector responses. It is essential that infrastructure operators, government agencies, and other critical actors establish a mechanism for sharing threat information and working together. On top of the fact that cybersecurity measures need to evolve constantly to tackle new and unexpected threats, the need for various actors to cooperate requires planning and practice,” commented Roth, organizer of the tabletop exercise. “The exercise not only tested the effectiveness and resiliency of our defenses against cyber warfare, but showed areas of vulnerability for government, industry, and academia that would benefit from the development of collaborative defensive measures.”
The tabletop exercise also highlighted the tremendous need for international collaboration to prepare for and respond to cyberattacks. The world is slowly shifting to recognize that cybersecurity is not just a technical issue, but a national security and policy issue. The tabletop exercise showcased the strength and importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and the need for countries to work together to counter this risk.
Sasakawa USA sponsored the simulation as part of the Cyber3 Conference, a two-day event on cybersecurity jointly held with the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and Keio University at the 5th International Cybersecurity Symposium held at Keio’s Mita campus on October 5-6.