“South Korea's geopolitical characteristics have made the country accumulate first-hand experiences with cyber crimes such as cyber attack thought to have originated in North Korea and voice phishing calls originating from China.
We have a great number of excellent experts on cyber attack detection and systems for malicious code analysis. Many developing countries have taken their cue from our information protection policy and management systems, which facilitates Korean companies’ entry into their cybersecurity markets.
Choi Jae-you, Vice Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said: “Nevertheless, it’s hard to say that Korean suppliers of information protection solutions are top players in the global market. The majority of Korean companies in the sector score poorly in terms of global marketing, technical competitiveness and brand awareness.”
Korean companies are mainly exporting their products on a piecemeal basis and facing an uphill battle with global companies. Hence the Ministry of Science and ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) has been pressing ahead with a project called ‘Korea Security Branding,’ which is designed to market excellent security infrastructure, response systems to security breaches, knowhow and information protection products under a single brand. Korean companies’ strengths are incorporated into a bundle of solutions to enhance the competitiveness of the whole industry.
Choi mentioned: “Under the Korea Security Branding project, Korean companies - KT, AhnLab, Igloo Security and iComer - built security and control infrastructures in Rwanda. And Duzon succeeded in building a digital forensics lab in Oman. Furthermore, to enhance South Korea’s international standing as an ICT powerhouse, we are considering holding intentional cybersecurity exhibitions like MWC, RSA, NAB, etc.”
The government is also drawing up multi-phase projects to offer support to Korean companies in stages from preparations for exportation and market exploration to localization. The government provides information on various foreign markets, supports marketing activities at trade shows and takes the lead in discovering demands for overseas projects that require government-to-government cooperation.
“This year, we started to establish a stronghold in foreign markets in consideration of each market’s characteristics. To provide Korean companies with practical support, we established a foothold in markets where demand for information protection is expected to rise, such as Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Latin America.”
In the Middle East where demand for information protection is surging due to a pickup in cyber crimes and attacks, we are focusing on marketing digital forensics and response systems to security breaches. In Africa where advances in ICT infrastructures is taking place at a slower pace than in other regions, we are concentrating on marketing public-sector response models that include the establishment of a national master plan for information protection and training courses for reinforcing cybersecurity capabilities.
In Southeast Asian countries, where awareness of information protection is rising and the preference for Korean IT is strong, we are keen on marketing an integrated Korean–style information protection service model based on the combination of local talent and Korean products. In Latin America, we are marketing integrated information security packages that offer responses models, training programs and information protection solutions with links to e-government systems.
In developed countries, such as Europe and North America, we are intent on strengthening the competitiveness of Korean companies through joint research and service development and technical cooperation.
“In developed countries, it is difficult for Korean vendors to find references locally and they have to face strong competition from global companies. Thus, we are planning to carve out a niche market by building a brand for Korean cybersecurity technologies. In the US and the EU, KOTRA and KIC will be tasked with helping Korean companies and startups find opportunities to attract investment,” Choi said.