William Saito, Japanese-American venture capitalist and one-time Special Advisor to the Japanese Cabinet Office, wrote an article on The Huffington Post detailing the importance of online privacy and security in an increasingly digitized world.
Saito began the article by noting the central and all-encompassing role the internet plays in daily modern life, compared to the strictly academic role it occupied for much of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. In analyzing the reasons behind this seismic shift, Saito credited the developments of the World Wide Web in 1989 and high-speed data transmission in the late 1990s with being responsible for making the internet as ubiquitous as it has become.
However, Saito also cited an important (albeit possibly “less viable“, in his opinion) reason for the modern-day popularity of the internet – the development of informational security. Saito points out that without security, the ability to not only engage personally on the internet, but to conduct business communications and carry out transactions is severely undercut.
Saito, in the article, expresses concerns that the integration of wireless capabilities into household items such as refrigerators, air conditioners and heaters is being carried out with little to no regard for the role security plays in making the internet safe for public use. He also cites the minimal concern that corporations and organizations pay to cybersecurity – as seen in the 2014 theft and leak of confidential materials from Sony Pictures.
Saito urges a collective reexamination of cybersecurity, with the aims of ensuring that both public and private sector outfits are protected. He highlights the World Economic Forum as a prime platform for such a reexamination to occur.
Read the full article here.
William Saito was born in Los Angeles, the child of Japanese immigrants. He is an alumni of the University of California, Riverside and has served as an adviser on cybersecurity to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as the Japanese Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). He has also served on advisory boards to major Japanese-based multinational corporations such as Japan Airlines, Fast Retailing and Hakuhodo.