(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Corporate Network Security in Japan Remains Below Appropriate Level
November 16, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Firewalls, anti-virus software and other
forms of network security have been implemented widely in Japan, yet
corporate security systems remain inadequate and there's not enough
full-time staff to maintain network security.
|These facts were revealed by Nikkei Communications after it conducted
a survey entitled "security state research" targeting some 800 companies
Questionnaires were mailed to 2,088 companies, both listed on the stock
exchange and unlisted, in the period from Aug. 3 through Sept. 4. A
total of 792 companies responded.
Details of the research are available in the Nov. 2 edition of Nikkei
Communications (Japanese version) as a special feature.
Asia BizTech focuses on the "status of equipment implementation and corporate
management for security."
The "actual status of damages" has been reported
in Asia BizTech in a summary form.
Firewalls: FireWall-1 as a Standard Off-the-Shelf Product
First, to be examined is the usage rate of firewalls that have been commonly
used as security tools.
Among the 792 respondents to the questionnaire, 645 companies use the
Internet. And among the 645 Internet users, 335 companies link to the
Internet through IP connections over leased lines. A total of 287 enterprises
out of those 335 users of leased lines acknowledged the use of firewalls,
accounting for a high rate of 85.7 percent. This shows the trend of
firewall use to guard against illegal invasion from outside the company.
FireWall-1 of Check Point Software Technologies
Ltd. of Israel accounts for the highest rate of firewall usage, at 32.9
percent (See chart 1).
FireWall-1 first appeared in the autumn of 1994, and thus it has an advantage
of a product that is solidifying its position as a standard off-the-shelf
product, said Akira Watanabe, president of International Computer Security
Association Japan, a company that deals with security-related consulting.
Following FireWall-1 are Gauntlet (8 percent) of Network Associates Inc.
and BorderWare (4.5 percent) of Secure Computing Corp. of the United
States. The only Japanese product that ranked within the top six is
NEC Corp.'s Goahnet.
As for operating systems and platforms applied to firewalls, UNIX workstations
account for 54.6 percent, the survey found. This reflects the qualities
of system stability, freedom of configuration, prompt countermeasures
that can be taken against bugs, and other factors. Next are Microsoft
Windows NT servers (22.7 percent), dedicated machine/all-in-one type
of machines (12.1 percent) and PC-UNIX servers (10.9 percent).
On the topic of implementation of firewalls for internal security of
an enterprise network, only 74 companies (11.1 percent) out of 668 that
maintain intranets have actually introduced firewall systems.
Companies with more computer terminals tend to have higher rates of firewall
deployment, the survey found. As an example, 40 percent of companies
with 5,000 or more terminals have firewalls, while only 10 percent of
those with fewer than 500 terminals maintain firewalls.
Similarly, when making observations on operating systems and platforms
of firewalls for internal purposes, Windows NT servers (32.4 percent)
surpasses UNIX workstations (31.1 percent) in terms of the usage rate.
Again, FireWall-1 is the most popular product, accounting for 29.7 percent.
Ease of use is the main reason for FireWall-1 to be adopted. Even so,
few enterprises have set clear criteria for selecting such products.
They tend to think more of business results in Japan as opposed to functionality
when introducing firewall products.
Anti-Virus Software for Clients: Trend Micro Winning Customers
A security tool with the same importance as firewalls is anti-virus software.
The survey questions were separately prepared for server and client
A total of 561 of the surveyed companies have introduced anti-virus software,
accounting for 70.8 percent of the respondents.
This shows a rapid diffusion of the software when taking into account
an implementation rate of about 30 percent just a year or two ago, according
to Mitsuhiro Someya, product marketing manager of the marketing department
at Trend Micro Inc. of Japan.
As for products actually introduced on servers,
Norton AntiVirus provided by Symantec Corp. of the United States has
the largest share (See chart 2). Its success
is due to a wide line of server products covering Windows NT, Notes,
Exchange and SMTP. However, in terms of total sales of each vendor,
Trend Micro Inc. has a slight lead over Symantec. Notably, Trend Micro
provides different products for each type of server.
A so-called standard off-the-shelf product has not yet emerged among
anti-virus products for servers. As an example, even Norton AntiVirus
is used by only 13.7 percent of the survey respondents. Almost 10 percent
of companies utilize products categorized simply as "other products."
In contrast with the server software, there
is a best-seller among anti-virus software for client machines: Virus
Buster of Trend Micro. Virus Buster is used by 44.4 percent of the companies,
leading Virus Scan in second place at 24.4 percent and Norton AntiVirus
in third place at 14.8 percent (See chart 3).
Insufficient Corporate Measures in Management Systems, Budgets
The next item is the status of staff assignments for security, and the
establishment of corporate rules to handle security issues.
A total of 599 enterprises have staff dedicated to or serving concurrently
in the security area, accounting for 75.6 percent of all the respondents.
However, only 23.7 percent actually have staff dedicated to security
Only 15 companies (1.9 percent) answered that they are fully prepared
and have clear criteria established to cope with security problems such
as illegal access to a server.
Companies that admitted to "having insufficient security measures" were
asked another question to ascertain what they think about items that
are lacking for addressing security.
The answer "lacking in effective management system" received positive
replies from almost 70 percent of 450 respondents (or 312 companies).
The answer "lacking in security products of hardware/software" received
replies from 58.7 percent of those companies and "lacking in operation
criteria such as log management" received replies from 55.3 percent,
according to the survey.
Constraints on budgets for security comprise another set of concerns.
As for the rate of security-related budgets to all IT-related budgets,
563 companies (71.7 percent) out of 792 answered that their rates are
less than 10 percent. A mere 42 companies (5.3 percent) answered at
a level of 10 percent or more.
Apparently, difficulties are seen in identifying returns on investments
in procuring equipment and utilization of services for security. This
makes it hard for some companies to make relevant decisions on such
As for the budgets in each group of companies classified by terminal
ownership, companies allocating less than 100,000 yen (US$810) account
for about 60 percent in the group of companies with fewer than 200 terminals.
However, companies with budgets of 1 million yen to 9.99 million yen
(US$8,100 - 81,000) account for about 60 percent in the group of companies
with 1,000-4,999 terminals.
By industry, financial and insurance sectors have relatively high budgets.
Some 40 percent of companies in those sectors have budgets exceeding
1 million yen.
However, the majority of businesses in the transportation and telecommunications
sectors have budgets of less than 100,000 yen. This amount is equivalent
to the annual costs of purchasing anti-virus software for dozens of
Chart 1: State of Use Corresponding to Type of
Firewall with Interface to the Outside (multiple answer)
of use of firewalls for connecting with the Internet are shown here.
The number of responding companies is 313; all that apply were selected.
(return to news)
Chart 2: State of Use Corresponding to Type of
Anti-Virus Software for Servers
The results were obtained by
combining product names selected from a specified list in the questionnaire
and names put into individual entry fields, and grouping those product
The number of responding companies is 561.
(return to news)
Chart 3: State of Use Corresponding to Type of
Anti-Virus Software for Clients
This shows the status of use
of anti-virus software installed in each terminal.
The total number
of responding companies is 561.
(return to news)
Unauthorized Access Affects 30 Pct. of Japanese Companies
XF/Paix Virus Shows Up in Japan, IPA Says in Oct. Report
Hackers Intrude into Systems of Public Research Groups
(Harumi Yasui and Satoshi Hanzawa, Staff editors, Nikkei
<Visit News Center for more Asian news.>