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Japan's Smart City Project: Cyber Security and the Need to Partner with Europe

Smart city development is taking place around the world, and there are many technologies that are poised for further advancement.

At an event hosted by Trusted Corporation on July 20, he suggested the possibility of further innovation through the convergence of Europe and Japan, and discussed cybersecurity, which plays an important role in this process, with LAC.

Is Japan's Cyber Security Weak?

Compared to the 1990s, when the Internet first became popular, recent years have seen an increase in financial gain for cyber attackers. In recent years, cyber-attacks have become a major international news story in the media.

Japan has a small budget for cyber security, but nowadays, not only companies but also the whole country is being attacked.

According to Mr. Mataebara, Director of New Business Development Department of LAC, "The budget in Japan is low compared to other countries, but in recent years the budget in Japan has risen dramatically. Mr. Mataebara continues, "although it is lower than overseas, the budget in Japan has increased dramatically in recent years.

LAC is the first company to start a cyber security service business in Japan. The company has long been at the forefront of cybersecurity in Japan, providing services such as security monitoring, security diagnosis, emergency response, consulting, and education services in a cycle of cybersecurity detection, defense, and countermeasures.

Twenty-five years ago, neither the police nor the Ministry of Defense had a cybersecurity organization, nor did the Cabinet Cyber Security Center (NISC). However, cybersecurity is not military technology research in Japan, whereas many countries are active in cybersecurity as military technology research, so the monetary scale is inevitably smaller.

Moreover, even if there is a sufficient budget, there are few people in Japan who can effectively utilize it.

The State of Japan's Smart Cities: Problems Before Security and Leakage Prevention

Smart cities are urban areas that use various types of electronic methods and sensors to collect data. This data is used to manage assets, resources, and services efficiently, and is often referred to as "In the Wild" because an attacker could be in the city, but we do not know where or how he or she is walking.

It is also, according to Mr. Mataebara, "a bit of a scary world where you don't know who you're connecting with." Because this is an emerging field, it is difficult for the Japanese people, who have developed well in the analog world, to understand the numbering system and the risk of personal information leakage.

Mr. Mataebara also points out, "the spread of the My Number system will have a major impact on the safety of citizens, but ensuring security and enforceability and simplifying distribution must come first. Japan has problems before security and leak prevention."

Europe's Smart City Legislation as a Point of Reference

Europe has the second largest ecosystem in the world after Silicon Valley and a growing number of startups, according to Trusted Corporation CEO Fariza Abidova. "In Europe, environmental and security considerations are also taken into account, as they are legally binding. And The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a very important regulation."

Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there is a strong legal framework for smart cities due to their sensitivity to protecting people's privacy, and many are developing their businesses with a long-term outlook.

The strength of such security is a barrier in the case of Europe, where it is difficult to trial the technologies developed. Even if a good algorithm is created, it cannot grow rapidly because it cannot be tested.

This case study of European legislation may give us an idea of the direction that Japan should take in the future.

Security starts early in the business startup process.

Fariza describes that when large Japanese companies ask to introduce European startups, they do not concerned about security parts.

However, security must be kept in mind when introducing technology and when companies form partnerships with each other.

Mr. Mataehara points out that "we have to start by thinking together. If we don't start by thinking together, we won't be able to move forward. Cybersecurity is something that is built over a period of 10 years, so it is necessary to monitor its security continuously."

Smart City Businesses Can Take Advantage of the Compatibility Between Japan and Europe

Sustainability is a concept that Japanese companies have been emphasizing in recent years, but in Europe, it has already been a focus of attention for a long time.

In Europe, support for startups is very active, and in many cases, entrepreneurs are starting their own businesses with a long-term perspective. "In many ways," Fariza said, "the Japanese approach is similar to Japanese in terms of demanding high precision and privacy regulations.

The choice of partner is very important for a 10-year project, and it is necessary to choose a trustworthy startup to build a smart city. From this point of view, Japanese companies and European startups are a very good match. European startups are doing business in Europe, where privacy security is strict, so they can rest assured that they have already overcome stricter regulations than in Japan.

On the other hand, European companies have clear objectives and challenges, and they do not easily come on board for information exchange or partnership negotiations just because they have an interesting project. However, it can be said that the relationship between Japan and Europe has great potential for new innovation through mutual understanding and steady communication.

Trusted Corporation provides information on European startup companies with high potential that have already received investment from VCs and other investors, advice on the text of emails for smooth communication in actual negotiations, and facilitation know-how for online meetings. The company provides total support for open innovation between Japanese and European startups, from providing information on high-potential European startups that have already received investment from VCs and other investors, to advising on email correspondence for smooth communication in actual negotiations, to providing facilitation know-how in online meetings.

If you are interested in Lack Inc. and cyber security in general, please contact us.

<Contact Info>

LAC Co.,Ltd. General Manager, Smart City Business Office, New Business Development Dept. Shinsuke Inamori

If you are interested in the content of this article or Trusted Corporation, please contact us.

<Contact Info>

Trusted Corporation CMO Mie Ishibashi


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