The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will conduct a large-scale survey on telework implementation at 1,000 companies as early as this summer. The survey aims to determine their cyberattack preparedness. Many firms have adopted teleworking since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, and the ministry is aware that some had to quickly introduce the new work platform without putting sufficient measures in place against possible cyberattacks.
The companies will be asked what steps have been taken so far against attacks on personal computers and software that are used for teleworking, and what protective procedures are being followed. The ministry plans to create a checklist based on the survey result to be used by companies that are going to make teleworking arrangements. The ministry also plans to discuss with the private sector about the possibility of opening a consultation center.
Many corporate employees started teleworking in Japan following the administration’s declaration of a state of emergency. According to a nationwide poll conducted by Persol Research Institute during the period between April 10 and April 12, out of 4,000 workers surveyed in Tokyo, 49% were teleworking. It was more than twice the number, 23%, recorded in March. The rate is expected to rise after the nationwide expansion of the state of emergency on April 16.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, an increase in the number of cyberattacks has been reported overseas. According to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade, cyberattack incidents against the World Health Organization (WHO) have doubled, though the precise number has not been disclosed.
The teleconference application ZOOM is growing in popularity because its core services are free. But it has become the target of attacks by “ZOOM bombers,” who intrude on and disrupt private meetings. In many cases, personal information is stolen through the application.
The government has stressed that if telework is further promoted and becomes more common in the future, the need for protective measures against cyberattacks would become even more urgent.