Israeli experts heading to Japan to provide much needed cybersecurity

Investment creates opportunity for growth in cyber defense market.

By
December 6, 2016 18:03
4 minute read.
Hacker in a hood

Hacker in a hood. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

 
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Local cybersecurity company Cybereason announced on Tuesday that it is partially relocating to Japan, following a $59 million investment by Japanese Internet giant Soft- Bank. The move is part of a larger trend by Japan, which is seeking international corporations and foreign experts in its fight against an increasing wave of cyber attacks against its institutions.

“Japanese companies and national institutions are constantly under cyber attack, but the public awareness in Japan as to the need for cybersecurity is low compared to Israel or the United States. But now, we’ve partnered with SoftBank to establish Cybereason Japan Corp to help defend Japan,” Lotem Guy, a security research group manager at Cybereason who will be moving his family to Japan in the coming days, told The Jerusalem Post.

Tel Aviv-based Cybereason is a company that locates, isolates and responds to cyber attacks in real-time.

Their platform – which relies on the company’s tech and human wealth – can find a single component of an attack and connect it to other pieces of information gathered by Cybereason, in order to reveal an entire campaign and shut it down.

“Our product specializes in identifying attacks on large organizations. Our team sits inside an organization and gathers and analyzes data from inside their computers, servers and workstations. That data is then sent to our central server, which runs on our software and studies the organization’s behavior, breaking it down into separate units. Then we can identify anything that is out of the ordinary and characterizes a cyber attack, isolate it and respond to it without disrupting the organization’s work routine,” Guy explained.

According to Japan’s National Institute of Information Communications Technology, Japan has experienced more than 50 billion cyber attacks in the last two years. In the past two years, Japanese investment – both private and national – in Israel grew exponentially, especially in the fields of autonomous drones, recognition and authentication technology, and security-related technology. Now SoftBank and Cybereason are bringing in Israeli experts to upgrade Japan’s cyber defenses.

SoftBank is a Japanese multinational corporation with operations in telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet services, technology services, finance, media and other businesses worldwide, and it provides infrastructures for Internet giants like Alibaba and Yahoo.

According to Forbes Magazine, SoftBank is the 62nd largest public company in the world and the third largest in Japan.

SoftBank bought a cybersecurity platform from Cybereason back in 2015, and, after being impressed by the Israeli company’s abilities and technology, decided to make a large investment in the company.

“Our deployment of the Cybereason platform internally gave us first-hand knowledge of the value it provides and led to our decision to invest,” stated Ken Miyauchi, president and CEO of SoftBank Corp, in a testimonial.

According to Guy, a large portion of the $59m. investment went toward the joint venture of creating the Japanese subsidiary, Cybereason Japan Corp.

“After SoftBank used our platform as a client, it opened their eyes. They realized that now they can do all the things they wanted to do, all the things they knew they needed to do, but never had the tools to do before. They now believe that the Japanese market is in dire need of this tool and that together we can bring it to Japan,” said Guy.

“Unlike other more traditional and conservative Japanese businesses, SoftBank is a younger company; it specializes in everything IT and has a younger and more innovative and open spirit,” Guy told the Post.

According to Guy, it was that unique spirit that allowed SoftBank to develop an awareness as to the need for cyber defense and led the company to take a more proactive approach, partner up with Cybereason and establish the Japanese subsidiary to cater to the Japanese market.

“The Japanese market is really hard to penetrate for a Western company, it’s difficult to sell anything here unless you are Japanese. But this cooperation gives us a very big opportunity to succeed,” said Guy.

The partnership between an Israeli cybersecurity pioneer and an established Japanese corporation makes market penetration easier and more likely to succeed, especially in light of Japan’s growing need for technologies it doesn’t have. The Cybereason Japan team is composed of Cybereason Israel expatriates and Japanese locals, some of whom were originally from SoftBank. The subsidiary already has a number of large Japanese clients who preferred not to make public their use of cybersecurity platforms.

“We didn’t think to grow into the Japanese market, at least not this quickly. Our focus was on the US market mostly, but since the beginning of our relationship with SoftBank, this great opportunity has opened up. In my opinion, our ability to sell in the Japanese market will be equal to the US market very soon,” Guy said.

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