The UK and Japan have solidified their commitment to advancing cybersecurity through a newly established partnership.

The memorandum of cooperation (MOC) signed on Wednesday (17 January) marks a pivotal moment in the strategic collaboration between the two nations in cyber defence.

During the visit of Japan’s Keidanren Cyber Security Committee to the UK for a three-day event hosted by the National Cyber Advisory Board (NCAB), both countries officially agreed to deepen public-private partnerships in the field of cybersecurity.

The NCAB, co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden and Chief Information Officer at Lloyds Banking Group Sharon Barber, was formed in 2022 to bring together leaders from academia and industry.

The group aims to present alternative viewpoints and harness networks from across the cyber ecosystem, supporting the delivery of the National Cyber Strategy.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, who signed the MOC on behalf of the UK, emphasised the significance of global collaboration in cybersecurity.

“Cyber is the new frontier. To ensure we remain at the forefront of cyber strategy, we must continue to work with democratic partners who share our values,” Dowden said.

He added: “This latest partnership further strengthens our relationship with Japan following the signing of the Hiroshima Accord and promotes collaboration across the public and private sector, strengthening our economy and demonstrating the UK Government’s commitment to making long-term decisions to secure our future.”

The Japanese delegation engaged with key figures from the public sector and industry experts including senior representatives from IBM.

Discussions focused on securing digital supply chains, engaging businesses on cyber resilience, and implementing best practices in recruitment to enhance cyber skills in both countries.

In May 2023, both nations signed the Hiroshima Accord, committing to an enhanced Global Strategic Partnership on issues such as technology and security.

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The Accord included a semiconductor partnership and a cyber partnership, which saw Fujitsu UK join the National Cyber Security Centre’s Industry 100 scheme.

A parliamentary report warned in December that the UK is at high risk of a “catastrophic” ransomware attack that could cost tens of billions of pounds and shut down critical infrastructure.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cited by GlobalData in its Thematic Intelligence Research: Cybersecurity 2023 report, global cybercrime will reach $10.5trn annually by 2025.

Tackling this issue requires investment, and GlobalData forecasts that cybersecurity revenues will reach $344bn worldwide by 2030.