This week finds nCipher Security’s Peter Carlisle in Tokyo. As VP of Global Sales, Peter racks up the miles while navigating a host of divergent cultures and gaining insight about global customer challenges.
For previous episodes, please see here.
nCipher: Peter, where in the world are you?
PC: Tokyo, Japan.
nCipher: What do you enjoy the most about visiting Tokyo?
PC: Tokyo is, on the one hand, a very modern city but it is also underpinned with a rich cultural heritage. This creates a fascinating cityscape where ultra-modern skyscrapers sit side by side with ancient temples, historic palaces & ornamental gardens. The city at night is a spellbinding palette of neon light which hits the senses head on.
nCipher: What are some localized challenges customers are facing?
PC: Japan is the world’s third largest economy based on GDP but can be a difficult place to do business. Regulations and cultural issues can make it a challenging environment for foreign corporations to gain foothold without strong local sponsorship. That said, a sophisticated network of consumers with a taste for high-end products and services coupled with high quality infrastructure make it an attractive target market for many.
There have, in the last 8 years, been a number of high profile corporate scandals in Japan affecting companies including: Nissan, Olympus, Toshiba, Takata & Kobe Steel. This has created a need for honesty and transparency, which puts data integrity and security at the forefront of Japanese business.
nCipher: Can you tell us a little more about some of the regional compliance regulations affecting customers?
PC: Japan made the first steps on this in 2003 with the adoption of the Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI). This was one of Asia’s first data protection regulations and received a major overhaul in 2015 following a series of breaches that hit the headlines. The revised version came into force on 30th May 2017. This revision also ushered in the Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC) which exists to protect individual rights and drive appropriate use of personal data. In July 2018, the European Union, which had just launched the GDPR, agreed with Japan that they would recognise each other’s data protection laws as “equivalent”.
nCipher: What type of advice have you given local customers?
PC: The Personal Information Protection Commission (PPC) came into being in 2017. It has grown in profile throughout 2018, and as people become more aware of the PPC, we have seen an increase in reported breaches. Against the background of increased regulation, greater awareness of the need for data protection and the lingering trust impact of corporate scandals it is now clear that organisations need to put data security at the top of their priorities. Encryption and key management from nCipher are powerful tools that can enable best practice in this area.
nCipher: When visiting Tokyo, is there a specific food or beverage you always seek out?
PC: Food is fabulous in Tokyo! The sushi and sashimi is of exceptional quality and unbelievably fresh. It’s worth seeking out the very best tuna, served either completely raw or just seared on a hot griddle. A glass or two of a sake washes it down well. The other thing to try is the wagyu beef, served yakiniku style. Yakiniku is a form of Japanese barbeque and you get to cook your own beef on a flame grill in the centre of the table. The meat has a wonderful marbling of fat and it, literally, melts in the mouth!
nCipher: If you wrote about song about Tokyo for your blues band, what would you call it?
Well, if I couldn’t get my tuna sashimi, I’d definitely have the “Raw Fish Blues!”