Japan’s new cybersecurity minister has ‘never used a computer’–claiming to have delegated to staff and secretaries since he was 25. This is especially interesting because his duties include overseeing cyber-defense preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In addition, Sakurada allegedly struggled to answer a follow-up question about whether USB drives were in use at the country’s nuclear power stations.
With the total cost of cybercrime committed expected to cost global businesses over $2 trillion by 2019, this revelation has raised concern, and the impact could weigh on Japan’s state of cybersecurity.
Two cybersecurity experts have commented on the incident below.
Bryan Becker, Application Security Researcher at WhiteHat Security:
“With Japan’s new Cybersecurity Minister Yoshitaka Sakurada admitting he’s never used a computer in his life, we can expect to see some unusual developments coming from their end. Remember when Zuckerberg was interviewed by a special hearing, and senators asked him questions as if they had never used the internet before? Not to be outdone, Sakurada is going to be developing policy without even having used a computer before!
All of that aside, if Sakurada is going to be effective, one likely option would be for him to turn to the private sector for help. There are probably going to be some very lucrative contracts available for partnerships with the Japanese government in the near future.
On the other hand, there is something to be said of the security of a man who’s never used a computer in his life. You can’t hack something that’s not there!”
Jeremy Cheung, Vulnerability Verification Specialist at WhiteHat Security:
“Whereas it’s generally possible for someone to be in a managerial position, without holding any technical expertise, it isn’t ideal for achieving high-quality results. Due to the nature of the cybersecurity industry involving not only technical devices but private data and personally identifiable information, the ramifications of someone in this position not holding any hands-on industry experience are quite severe. Without having ever even used a computer, Sakurada’s knowledge of cybersecurity practices, exploits and remediation are theoretical at best, which greatly increases the chance of compromise and a potential repeat of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games Cyberattack. In preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games, Sakurada should definitely get in the trenches with his staff and experience what goes on in building a secure cyber-defense plan. To stop a hacker, you have to try to think like a hacker!”
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