The government is considering introducing a new security measure called “zero trust” to strengthen cyber security measures in preparation for the digitalization of administration advocated by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, it was learned on Sept. 25. This is a new way of thinking about countermeasures based on the premise that unauthorized intrusion is possible, and is a change from conventional measures against intrusion.
“Zero trust” is a concept based on the view that human nature is inherently evil, nothing can be trusted, and everything inside and outside an organization is suspicious. Specifically, it is a system that accurately identifies all users and equipment they use, and constantly monitors and checks them. This service launched by U.S.-based Google this spring has become widely known.
The current government’s security measures are called “perimeter” measures, which are akin to the protection of a castle, erecting in the network a strong wall to thoroughly protect it from viruses and block the entry of unauthorized users.
However, the perimeter type has a weakness: once the wall is breached, risks are enormous, and it can’t sufficiently respond to internal crime. There is also the risk of creating breaches in the wall through the connection of internal networks to the outside world by introducing teleworking and collaboration with other companies.
The government, which is promoting the digitalization of administration, has decided that it cannot maintain a safe and secure cyber environment without introducing the zero trust measure. Early next year, the Information Technology Strategy Planning Office of the Cabinet Secretariat will partially introduce the new system on an experimental basis. It is expected that a digital agency, which is slated to launch next year, will take over the series of initiatives to introduce the zero trust system.
Referring to the digital agency scheduled to be established next year, Minister for Digital Transformation Takuya Hirai said, “I’m responsible for building the system, so security is undoubtedly the most important issue.” In this way, he expressed his enthusiasm for security measures during a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Sept. 25.