The Topcon Corporation was established in September 1932 after acquiring Katsuma Optical Company’s lens factory facilities, with the surveying machine division of K. Hattori Seikosha as their main division. In 1989, the company changed its name from Tokyo Optical Co., Ltd to Topcon. Today the company strives to provide solutions to societal issues and expand their business as a maker of precision equipment by developing operations in three fields: “Positioning,” which develops products and systems using high precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning, such as GNSS surveying, machine control and precision agriculture; the world’s leading “Smart Infrastructure,” which combines cutting-edge GPS technology based on optical technology, laser technology, and image analysis technology; and “Eye Care,” which provides inspection, measurement, and diagnostic/treatment devices used in ophthalmology, as well as equipment and systems used by opticians, such as eye testing and lens manufacturing equipment.
As a manufacturer of precision equipment with three areas of focus, “Positioning” and “Smart Infrastructure,” for measurement equipment and systems used in surveying, civil engineering, construction sites and agriculture, and “Eye Care” for inspection, diagnostic and treatment devices used in ophthalmology and optometry, Topcon’s management philosophy is to resolve societal issues relating to food and housing and “contribute to the creation of a prosperous society” in the course of doing business.
The company is currently actively trying to expand overseas, so approximately 90% of their 80 consolidated subsidiaries are based overseas. Approximately 70% of Topcon’s 4,700 employees come from other countries. They are a global company with approximately 75% of their engineers coming from outside of Japan. For that reason, they pay careful attention to security. “In the manufacturing sector, we deal with highly confidential information such as design information for parts and products. For this reason, we take an active approach to implementing security measures,” says Kazuaki Miyata, director of the Department of Information Systems, Corporate Planning Division. Network and server security has of course been introduced. They have combined various layers of security measures and products to build a robust multi-layered security foundation. Furthermore, they conduct periodic security diagnostics and have established security operations that are considered impervious to known attacks.
As a company that is developing rapidly while spreading overseas, Topcon is concerned with defending against targeted attacks. “The speed at which targeted attacks evolve and become more complex is staggering, and we were worried that our measures might not be able to keep up. We thought that a global solution would be required to continue with our overseas business development,” says Miyata.
While searching for exceptional new security solutions against increasingly sophisticated attacks targeting specific parties, they attended the Akamai Edge Japan 2017” conference. That’s when they became interested in Akamai, after learning that Akamai provides “enterprise security” solutions to protect users inside organizations. In February 2018, Akamai introduced Topcon to Enterprise Threat Protector (ETP), one of their threat protection products. They had high expectations for the effectiveness of ETP, and decided to conduct a trial immediately.
“I think that Akamai’s system, which uses the company’s extensive threat intelligence to pre-emptively block unauthorized DNS queries, is a very simple and effective measure against targeted threats. So we decided to conduct a trial with Akamai’s guidance,” says Kazuo Suzuki, information systems expert in the Information Systems Division, Corporate Planning Division.
ETP began full operation at the company in June 2018, and they say they are once again noticing its benefits. “The transition from the trial to full operation went almost completely unnoticed. A major benefit of ETP is how simple it is to manage. And yet it is able to detect even internal threats. Furthermore, there is no hardware to renew or patches to apply like with hardware appliances. Everything is updated automatically on the cloud,” Says Suzuki.
“This has allowed the company to focus on what’s really important: whether there have been any security issues.” Moreover, there is also an aspect of ETP that Topcon can point to precisely because the company is expanding globally. Only one management console is needed to expand services throughout the world. When pursuing mergers and acquisitions to expand a business, keeping the organization’s security governance uniform becomes a challenge. However, Topcon is confident that, with ETP, it is possible to develop the same level of security and improve governance throughout the world. In fact, they say that they plan to use ETP for just such a project.