By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
Dec. 15, 2022 8:30PM KST
South Korea and the European Union should go beyond words and take strong action as a measure to protect countries from cyber threats, an expert in information technology suggested Wednesday.
“We need action, not just talk. Well done is better than well said,” said Shin Yong-tae, a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Soongsil University, during his speech at the Hongneung Defense Forum’s special session for South Korea and the EU, which was held on December 14.
The expert’s words come as cybercriminals’ activities are evolving rapidly, making it harder for individuals or companies to prevent them. Shin said that ransomware has occurred every 11 seconds as of this year, compared to 39 seconds last year. On average, three thousand websites are hacked every day. And more than 60% of organizations have experienced at least one form of cyberattack.
“It is not a matter of if, but rather of when we will be impacted by a cyberattack,” explained the expert. “Without a comprehensive cybersecurity program in place, it can be difficult for South Korea and the EU to adequately protect against cyber criminals and the ever-increasing cyber threats that exist today.”
South Korea and the EU have been strengthening their cooperation in the cybersecurity domain since the early 2010s. As a result, both parties have launched a new digital partnership on November 28 to enhance joint efforts in artificial intelligence, mobile networks, quantum computing, cybersecurity, and more.
The expert asserted that South Korea and the EU should further expand their interactions in fields such as crafting new standards for data governance and data sharing. Data governance means implementing polices related to gathering, storing, processing, and disposing of data.
However, taking such actions would not be achieved without trust existing between countries. Trust is the foundation for cooperation in cybersecurity even though it is fragile and can only be accomplished by continued efforts, stressed Shin.
The expert was not the only one who stressed the important of actions over words at the forum. Jean-Paul Pritchard, the co-director of the EU’s Enhancing Security Cooperation In and With Asia project, stressed the value of action in reinforcing cooperation.
“When ministers, prime ministers, and presidents from likeminded countries meet, it’s quite normal that they express desires for greater cooperation. And what happens the next day, and the day after that,” said the co-director. “[The reason why ESIWA exists] is really to go beyond words and translate words into action.”
Photo by the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses
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.