Key Takeaways from the G7 ICT Multi-Stakeholders Conference in Japan

May 19, 2016
4 minutes

With our global economy more and more reliant on the digital systems that connect our individual national infrastructures, ministers from Japan, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the U.S., and the European Union made coordination on information and communication technology (ICT) policy a major initiative during their G7 ICT Ministers Meeting held April 29–30 in Takamatsu, Japan. They also agreed multi-stakeholder approaches are essential for ICT and cybersecurity efforts.

As host of the G7 meeting, the Japanese government put that agreement into action, organizing the first-ever G7 ICT Multi-Stakeholders Conference in parallel with the government-only Ministers Meeting. The conference, which included representatives of industry, academia, and governments from around the world, aimed to work on a way forward to strengthen our international efforts for protecting critical ICT and enhancing our global cybersecurity posture. As a representative of industry at the conference, Palo Alto Networks applauds the Japanese government’s leadership in using this opportunity to bring together this unique group of leaders.

The discussions among the conference participants highlighted the difficulties in sharing cyberthreat intelligence and best practices in a timely and harmonized manner as well as the increasing incorporation of cybersecurity into Japanese business decisions and operations. Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security, shared his experiences from the London 2012 Summer Olympics and emphasized the importance of using technologies that disseminate cyber intelligence in a coordinated manner to avoid confusion and duplication. He also pointed out that future Olympic Games would face challenges in processing and analyzing in real time the growing volume of cyberthreat information.

As the Internet of Things and automated threats grow, the volumes of data we are dealing with will only make the threat landscape more complex, increasingly impacting the fabric of our day-to-day digital lifestyle. It is essential for academia, government, and industry to re-architect their systems and networks away from legacy platforms and onto next-generation technology that can handle large volumes of data, automatically preventing threats and enabling faster response.

But next-generation technology alone will not be enough to tackle the challenges we face in securing ICT. During the panel session, Hiromichi Shinohara, Senior Executive Vice President for the NTT Corporation, stressed the need to recognize cybersecurity as an integral part of business operations and to work together with other companies and sectors to support cyberthreat information sharing and human resources. His comments mirror the guidance put forward in the Japanese Cybersecurity Guidelines for Business Leadership Version 1.0 issued by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Information-Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) in December 2015. It makes the point that cybersecurity must be an integral part of business operations, and executives should show leadership not only by investing in measures to protect their brand, operations continuity, and customer trust but also by contributing to cyberthreat information-sharing frameworks in a mutually beneficial way.

As a global critical infrastructure company based in Japan, NTT’s decision to declare cybersecurity a responsibility for business operations at this international conference was incredibly meaningful in setting the stage for others in Japan and globally to follow suit. Palo Alto Networks also appreciates the leadership taken by the Japanese government and industry in the cybersecurity field and looks forward to continuing to work with them to enable business operations and secure trust in our digital age.


Mihoko Matsubara, CSO Japan, Palo Alto Networks K.K., and Danielle Kriz, Senior Director, Global Policy, Palo Alto Networks, published their co-authored blog about the METI/IPA Cybersecurity Guidelines for Business Leadership earlier this month. Matsubara is also giving a talk about cybersecurity for major global events including the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 at the Palo Alto Networks Day conference in Tokyo on June 7.

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