The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) will set up a “white hat hacker” training center in FY17 with the goal of developing Japan’s unique cyber-defense technology. The new institution will aim at training some 100 hackers annually, since Japan has a shortage of personnel for cybersecurity compared with Western countries. The goal is to develop technology for building Japan’s own cyber-defense systems through an increase in experts and entrepreneurs in the cyber sector.
A “National Cyber Training Center” (tentative name) will be created under the ministry’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), which will recruit students of technical colleges and universities and young people under 25 years of age for one year of training.
MIC has included a request of 3.5 billion yen for this purpose in the FY17 budget. The training program will continue beyond FY18.
The NICT’s cyberattack monitoring network will be open to trainees at the center, who will study security measures and develop cyber-defense programs based on actual cyberattack data in order to acquire technical expertise. Large-scale cyber exercises involving battles between attackers and defenders will also be conducted. Plans to send outstanding trainees to study at U.S. and European universities with superior cyber programs are also being considered.
According to U.S. research companies, Symantec, the top cybersecurity company, accounts for nearly 20% of the security software market, and 7 of the top 10 companies are U.S. companies.
In Japan, there are many IT engineers responsible for network monitoring who work with U.S.-made software without a full knowledge of the software. There has long been a need for a substantial increase in the number of white hat hackers.