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“JP-US-EU Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Week for the Indo-Pacific Region” was held in FY2023

Last Updated:Oct 27, 2023

The Industrial Cyber Security Center of Excellence (ICSCoE) under the Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in collaboration with the government of the United States and the European Commission, hosted the first in-person JP-US-EU Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Week (October 9-13, 2023) in Tokyo in four years.
The hands-on training brought together 35 government and industry practitioners invited from the Indo-Pacific region (ASEAN member states, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Taiwan) who participated in the exercise.

1. Outline of the event

METI and the ICSCoE hosted the JP-US-EU Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Week in collaboration with the US government (DHS/CISA, DOS) as well as the European Commission (DG CONNECT) from October 9 to 13, 2023. The event was held in-person for the first time since 2019.

Cybersecurity measures are more effective when implemented jointly by several organizations or a number of countries. To combat the growing threats stemming from increased digitization and interconnectedness, the geopolitical importance of cybersecurity and cooperation among like-minded countries is indispensable. The Cyber Security Week was first launched in 2018 by Japan in collaboration with the U.S. with the aims of enhancing cybersecurity capacity within the Indo-Pacific region and reinforcing collaboration with respective countries. Recognizing its value, the European Union (EU) officially joined this annual ICS cybersecurity exercise from 2021.

The ICS Cybersecurity Week hosted participants from the Indo-Pacific region who are information and operational cybersecurity experts from critical infrastructure operators, cybersecurity experts from national Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs), and policy experts from relevant ministries and authorities.

The one-week program provided participants with unique and valuable opportunities to participate in hands-on training featuring AI, hacked robotic arms, and a simulated tampering with a water-level regulation system in an industrial plant, as well as cybersecurity-related seminars taught by experts from Japan, the U.S. and the EU on four topics: awareness of issues and initiatives by government officials in each region; standardization; incident response; and supply chain risk management. Through this event, participants were able to acquire knowledge, enhance their thinking on cybersecurity policy and tangibly improve their cybersecurity capabilities.

The program also contributed to establishing a common understanding on ICS cybersecurity and strengthening relationships between the Indo-Pacific region and Japan, the U.S. and the EU, which will become a foundation for further international cooperation in jointly addressing growing cybersecurity threats. Under the vision of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” METI and the ICSCoE will continuously endeavor to enhance the cybersecurity capacity of the whole region, in particular by reinforcing measures for critical infrastructure.

2. Training program

<Opening remarks from Japan, the U.S. and the EU >

  • Mr. Nobuhiro YOSHIDA
    Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Mr. Raymond F. GREENE
    Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Tokyo
  • Mr. Jean-Eric PAQUET
    Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to Japan

<Key note speech>

    Adviser/Professor, Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan / Nara Institute of Science and Technology
  • Ms. Jen Easterly
    Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Ms. Lorena Boix Alonso
    Director for Digital Society, Trust & Cybersecurity, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), European Commission

<Hands-on Training>

At ICSCoE, the hands-on training was provided to the participants from the Indo-Pacific region. In this hands-on training led by Dr. Takuho MITSUNAGA, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information Networking for Innovation and Design (INIAD), Toyo University and his team members, who are also lecturers at ICSCoE IPA, participants learned about the method of cyberattack, occurring events and countermeasures using a simulated plant with a control system for water level regulation and AI-powered industrial robots.

  • Dr. Takuho MITSUNAGA
    Associate Professor, Faculty of Information Networking for Innovation And Design (INIAD), Toyo University
    (Lecturer, ICSCoE IPA)
  • Hands-on Training using AI-powered Industrial Robot

<ICS Cybersecurity Seminar>

Mr. Harunobu Yagi, Assistant Manager of Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and who is also one of the Core Human Resource Development Program graduates, participated in the themed seminars on ‘Supply Chain Risk Management’. He joined a panel discussion alongside Dr. Allan Friedman, Senior Advisor of CISA from the U.S. and engaged in a lively session, taking questions from the participants.

  • Mr. Harunobu Yagi
    Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)
    Graduate of the 4th Core Human Resource Development Program, at ICSCoE
  • Participants from the Indo-Pacific region