January 31, 2020 / 7:10 AM / 17 days ago

BOJ warns of cyber-attack vulnerability ahead of Olympic Games

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the Bank of Japan building in Tokyo, Japan January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s financial institutions must guard against cyber-attacks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, with nearly 40% of banks and other firms experiencing attacks over the past three years, the Bank of Japan said on Friday.

The increasing threat of cyber-attacks has prodded the Bank of England and other central banks to take action to ensure that banks, insurers and other financial firms minimize the impact of cyber-attacks or technology outages.

In a BOJ survey conducted in September, nearly 40% of respondents said they had experienced cyber-attacks, and more than 10% had suffered disruptions to their business.

Over 70% believed the threat of cyber-attacks has increased since 2017 - the last time the BOJ conducted a similar survey - while nearly 60% said they have departments specializing in cyber incidents, the survey showed.

Still, about 60% of the 402 financial institutions surveyed said they were not able to secure enough staff to oversee measures to deal with cyber-attacks.

“Progress in digital technology has led to a sharp increase in cyber-security risks for financial institutions,” the BOJ said in the survey.

“Cyber-attacks may increase ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this year, which is a risk we must be vigilant to,” it said.

Japan will host the 2020 Olympics in July and August.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; editing by Richard Pullin

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