Tokyo Tapes

I always wanted the chance to use that title for a blog! So, as I’m currently in Tokyo, and was yesterday reviewing the security of the business unit here, including processes for managing back-up tapes, that’s my excuse to make a reference to an old classic hard rock album..

One must always show an appreciation for local cultures when visiting international business units, and this is especially true of Japan. Charging in and picking fault will not only cause offense, it will result in an incorrect assessment of risks. One example that highlights the point is that I noticed yesterday, as I was being driven through the outskirts of Tokyo, people parking their bicycles outside a suburban shopping centre. Not a single bike lock was in view: it’s not even condiered that a crook might come along and steal one. So while a bike might appear to be highly vulnerable to being stolen, the level of threat is considered to be very low and therefore, it’s a low overall risk.

That’s not to say that Information isn’t secured with any metaphorical bike-locks. In fact the opposite appears to true and I’ve found security here to be well considered and managed. One example that highlights the differences is the way that security awareness messages are delivered. In the UK, I know that if a security awareness message goes out to the company by email that most recipients will simply ignore it. In Japan, everybody reads the message, and will take whatever action is says. Conversely, delivery of messages via Intranet here – which seems to work well in the UK – is not considered to be effective.

Anyway, the early morning view from my 30th floor hotel room is that the sun is out and it looks like it’s going to be another nice day…

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Interesting line of thought. I'd concur that the threat profile is low.... However, experience tells me that rather than looking at the threat, the Japanese look at the asset value and the impact first. The asset in this case (i.e. the bicycle) has a relatively low value, and the impact is limited as you can always take another bicycle. Under these conditions why spend lots to secure your chariot? I spent three golden years exploring Osaka and Tokyo by bicycle.... and ironically never had my bicycle stolen :-)
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Interesting line of thought. I'd concur that the threat profile is low.... However, experience tells me that rather than looking at the threat, the Japanese look at the asset value and the impact first. The asset in this case (i.e. the bicycle) has a relatively low value, and the impact is limited as you can always take another bicycle. Under these conditions why spend lots to secure your chariot? I spent three golden years exploring Osaka and Tokyo by bicycle.... and ironically never had my bicycle stolen :-)
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