By Scott Algeier
This week I traveled to Tokyo, Japan to participate in the International Symposium on Cybersecurity. This is an annual event hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in collaboration with the ICT-ISAC Japan and other ISACs based in Japan. This marks my fourth trip to Japan to meet with industry and government leaders in the ICT community.
Tokyo is a fascinating city with generous and respectful people. While I always enjoy meeting with my friends in Japan, this trip was especially meaningful. On Monday, November 11th, I had the honor of executing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the IT-ISAC and the ICT-ISAC Japan.
The MOU represents a significant milestone in the IT-ISAC’s international engagement and demonstrates the rapid maturity of the capabilities of the ICT-ISAC Japan. The ICT-ISAC Japan was established in 2016, fulfilling similar operations that the IT-ISAC does, and shares many of our core values on collaboration and trusted information sharing. With over two dozen members and a variety of special interest groups, the ICT-ISAC members are industry leaders in Japan, who are committed to global cybersecurity. The IT-ISAC greatly appreciates and values our partnership with the ICT-ISAC Japan and its members.
Together, the IT-ISAC has engaged with our colleagues in Japan to build trust, share effective practices and techniques, understand information needs, and mature capabilities. With the MOU, we now have a framework in place that formalizes voluntary, operational information sharing between our organizations. The MOU outlines areas in which the IT-ISAC and the ICT-ISAC will continue to cooperate, including defining relevant information we each plan to share with the other. This agreement memorializes our joint commitment to each other and the importance of partnerships that extend beyond national boundaries. Our relationship with the ICT-ISAC continues to flourish as we work together through our common goals. The Memorandum of Understanding demonstrates our joint commitment to sustained engagement to enhance our collective capabilities.
From a strategic perspective, building partnerships with trusted, established information sharing communities across the globe enables the IT-ISAC to extend our model of serving as a force multiplier. By partnering with trusted, successful information sharing organizations across the globe, we can leverage the trust relationships that exists between them and their members. This is a much more efficient and successful model than trying to build hundreds of individual trust relationships with companies around the world. The MOU enables both the IT-ISAC and the ICT-ISAC to tap into existing trust relationships for mutual benefit.
One final point. It is important to note the contributions of the Communications Sector to this effort. Although not a party to this MOU, the Communications ISAC has long been a valuable partner of the IT-ISAC. Representatives of the Communications ISAC have joined us in our meetings with the ICT-ISAC representatives in Tokyo and the U.S. They have contributed an immense amount of expertise in these discussions and helped build the trust relationship with the ICT-ISAC that made possible the signing of the MOU. The IT-ISAC is very excited about our new MOU with the ICT-ISAC and look forward to our continued collaboration.