Thales e-Security News Release

2018 Thales Data Threat Report, Korea Edition: Transformative technologies bring rise in data breaches

95% of Korean organizations using sensitive data in cloud, big data, IoT environments

Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security, announces the results of its 2018 Thales Data Threat Report, Korea Edition, issued in conjunction with analyst firm 451 Research. The report finds digitally transformative technologies are shaping the way Korean organizations do business and moving them to a data-driven world, with 95% of organizations using sensitive data in cloud, big data, IoT, container, blockchain and mobile environments.

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Digital transformation brings increased risks to data

Digital transformation is driving efficiency and scale as well as making possible new business models that drive growth and profitability. Enterprises are embracing this opportunity by leveraging all that digital technology offers, with adoption at record levels. All (100%) of organizations polled are using cloud technology; 99% are using big data; 95% are implementing IoT technologies; and 93% are working on or using mobile payments.

The IoT statistic might not come as too much of a surprise: Korea is one of the major hubs for the design and manufacture of IoT devices such as TVs, mobile phones and others. When asked about their top three IoT security concerns, respondents cited attacks on IoT devices (35%), protecting sensitive data IoT creates (28%), and lack of effective controls (28%). Also increasingly popular in Korea is blockchain technology, with 25% reporting they are using sensitive data with blockchain, and container technology. Nearly 38% of Korean respondents report using container technology for ‘production’ applications – well ahead of the global average of 24%, and ahead of regions like Sweden (16%), the U.K. (18%) and the Netherlands (18%).

This rush to embrace new environments has created more attack surfaces and new risks for data, which is most clearly illustrated with data breach statistics. As a nation, Korea takes data privacy and information security very seriously. Its six-year-old Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) is among the most comprehensive and strict privacy regulations in the world. But even with PIPA in place, data breaches still affected almost half of all enterprises, with 44% of organizations claiming a past breach. Of that number, 16% were breached in the last year.

Encryption critical to solving data security problems

While spending decisions don’t reflect its popularity, respondents still express a strong interest in deploying encryption technologies to protect their data. This may be due to the growing realization that traditional endpoint and network security technologies can only secure a limited type of attack surfaces.

Network security still saw the largest spending increase, with 48% of respondents putting money behind it – but 68% of respondents also claim they are implementing database/file encryption this year. Encryption is also cited as a top technology needed for more cloud usage (42%), big data usage (37%), and as the top tool for protecting IoT technologies (48%). Additionally, encryption is listed as the number one data protection strategy for meeting global privacy regulations, such as the GDPR (53%).

Kee Tae Kim, Country Director for Korea, Thales eSecurity says:

“From cloud computing, to mobile devices, digital payments and emerging IoT applications, organizations are re-shaping how they do business – and this digital transformation both creates and is reliant on data. When it comes to securing this data, Korean organizations are doing much better than most. The Korean breach rate in the past year is less than half of the global average of 36%, and also well below the U.S. breach rate of 46%. But, this could change. Korea’s data breach rate today is similar to the global rate of only two years ago (22%). Much like the global rate, it could rise sharply if close attention is not paid to further strengthening data security through the use of proven technologies such as encryption and tokenization”.

Download your copy of the 2018 Thales Data Threat Report – Korea Edition.