16 Jul 2020

JAPAN HAS a reputation for technophilia. Robots have even been enlisted to cheer players at professional baseball games while covid-19 keeps fans away from stadiums. Yet when it comes to more humdrum information technology (IT), the country lags behind other advanced economies—nowhere more so than in cyber-security. Nearly 14m people were still using Windows 7 when Microsoft stopped providing security patches in January, including 7.5m at work. This, the American software giant warned, could make Japan “susceptible to cyber-attacks”.

In January Mitsubishi Electric and NEC, two electronics giants, admitted to data breaches. Last month a virus infiltrated Honda’s internal servers and disrupted the carmaker’s factories in several countries. With more employees teleworking on unsecured devices and networks during the pandemic, cyber-security experts have noticed a spike in cyber-attacks since March.

Businesses everywhere contend with cyber-criminals. On July 15th scammers hacked the Twitter accounts of public figures including Joe Biden and Elon Musk. Many big Japanese firms, including Mitsubishi, NEC and Honda, are bolstering their defences. But many small and medium-sized ones, which make up 99% of Japanese companies, have little or no security systems in place. Hackers can use such weak links in the supply chain to...

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This content was originally published by The Economist: Business. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By The Economist: Business

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