South Korea to create a national cybersecurity agency

South Korea to create a national cybersecurity agency
Ahn Cheol-soo, the chief of the presidential transition committee, announces 110 upcoming national projects. Source: The presidential transition committee

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable

May 6, 2022 10:16 PM KST

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol plans to create a new national cybersecurity agency that takes direct orders from the president, the presidential transition committee announced Tuesday. This is part of the incoming administration’s plan to reinforce defensive measures against national cyber threats.

The new agency will be tasked with establishing a government-wide cooperative system. Currently in South Korea, cybersecurity roles are spread throughout the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the Ministry of National Defense. Each handles the overall information security of public, military, and private sectors.

Before Yoon was elected, he mentioned the need to establish national level cybersecurity measures during his presidential campaign. At a press conference in January, Yoon stressed the necessity of unifying the cyber defense system on a national level due to difficulties the country has faced in dealing with cybersecurity crisis.

This proposal was included in the 110 national projects announced by the transition committee on the same day. The cyber defense initiative was the 101st project on the list. To carry out the project successfully, the transition committee also suggested enacting laws which will clarify the roles of government agencies and boost cooperation between them.

Other countries, such as the United States, have already established national level cybersecurity agencies. According to a report issued by the National Assembly Research Service in October 2021, the United States established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which manages cybersecurity as national infrastructure, after the congress passed the Homeland Security Act in 2002.

Under the Joe Biden administration, the newly founded Office of the National Cyber Director plays the part of a coordinator between intergovernmental cybersecurity policies. There is also an independent governmental agency in Germany which specifically manages overall national cybersecurity policies. In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, cybersecurity policies regarding public and private sectors are dealt with by seperate departments.

Kuksung Nam is a cybersecurity journalist for The Readable. She covers cybersecurity issues in South Korea, including the public and private sectors. Prior to joining The Readable, she worked as a political reporter for one of the top-five local newspapers in South Korea, The Kyeongin Ilbo, where she reported several exclusive stories regarding the misconduct of local government officials. She is currently focused on issues related to anti-fraud, as well as threats and crimes in cyberspace. She is a Korean native who is fluent in English and French, and she is interested in delivering the news to a global audience.