GMO Internet to establish Information Security Audit Office in an effort to protect client data

Maria Nikolova

The new office aims to protect important customer information from increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.

GMO Internet Inc. (TYO:9449) is seeking to bolster its cyber defenses. The company today unveiled its plans to establish “Group Information Security Audit Office” in an effort to strengthen information security management and audit function in the entire group.

A knowledgeable security expert will join the company. In addition, GMO will invite an external security expert as an adviser. Takeshi Miyazaki will join GMO Internet as Group Information Security Audit Office General Manager, with the appointment effective April 1, 2018.

Through these steps, GMO Internet aims to protect important customer information from increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. The company also seeks to improve information security literacy and to foster security personnel.

Today’s announcement is released about a week after GMO Coin, the virtual currency business of GMO Internet, submitted its business improvement plan in line with orders issued by the Kanto Local Finance Bureau.

The plan outlines measures such as the establishment of an effective management system, as well as the creation of a contingency plan to be implemented in case of a system failure. The plan also envisages improvements to the information security and cyber security systems of GMO Coin, as well as enhancements to the quality management and configuration management systems.

The Japanese regulator has voiced concerns about the system troubles occurring frequently as a result of the rapid expansion of the virtual currency exchange business. According to the regulator, the root cause analysis for these problems was inadequate and appropriate measures to avoid recurrence of the incidents were not taken. As a result, the regulator has instructed GMO Coin to implement an effective system risk management system. The company will also have to report progress and implementation status of this plan on a monthly basis.

Let’s recall that on January 4, 2018, clients of GMO Coin were unable to connect to the services for about five hours. GMO Coin did not specify the particular reason for the problems but said that it managed to restore the normal operations around 19:00 (local time) on the same day.

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