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SECURITY > Cybersecurity

Gov’t mulls sponsoring “cyberdefense” online course

  • December 20, 2016
  • , Sankei , Lead story
  • JMH Translation

In order to develop human resources specialized in cyberdefense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has begun examining a plan to start a “correspondence course” as early as June 2017 targeting young people of 25 years or under, including students, the Sankei Shimbun learned on Dec. 19. The course will be one year long and participants will receive high level online training with a government-issued notebook computer to learn advanced technologies. The government has decided to earmark 1.5 billion yen for the plan combined with MIC’s existing project for cybersecurity human resources development with the fiscal 2017 budget.

 

MIC eyes dozens of participants every year and will screen them through interviews at the beginning of 2017. The government will lend successful applicants a course-specific computer, with which participants can take the course wherever they are in Japan. The ministry intends to offer the course free of charge.

 

Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA), an independent administrative corporation administered by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, provides junior high, senior high, and university students with on-site training at various places in Japan for several days every year. However, there has been no long-term training program to develop human resources online, which enables anyone to participate from remote locations.

 

The “National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT),” a research institution that has cybersecurity experts, and major software companies cooperate on this online course. NICT researchers, appointed as lecturers for this course, will implement simulation exercises designed to prevent cyberattacks against critical infrastructure such as power plants, electric appliances and automobiles with connectivity to the Internet, as well as to prevent information leakage. In order to maintain the confidentiality of the course contents, participants will be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement. The course will include ethics education as well.

 

The government will consider hiring participants, who have completed the course, at the NICT and other government research institutes. In collaboration with METI, the government will also discuss whether to certify them as “Registered Information Security Specialist,” a national qualification that recognizes cybersecurity specialists.

 

Bearing in mind the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the government is expediting efforts to discover potential talent for cyberdefense.

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