South Korea has one of the world’s best Internet network speed and penetration, which allows many entrepreneurs and startups to thrive and grow. The agency, which is ensuring the reliable Internet environment and cybersecurity, is the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA). It is a sub-organization, working under the Ministry of Science and ICT, which is also supports the country’s startups through various programs and initiatives.
What is KISA?
KISA or the Korea Internet & Security Agency was established in 2007 to primarily deal with the Internet and Cybersecurity situation in the country. The organization is a merged version of three agencies in the country the National Internet Development Agency (NIDA) and the Korean IT International Cooperation Agency (KIICA).
The Main Role or Activities of KISA are as follows:
1) INTERNET PROMOTION – Nurturing the Internet
KISA is responsible for promoting the application of IPv6, future Internet, and revitalization of wireless Internet for the secure Internet environment. It also has to manage and promote the national domain ‘.kr’ through actively taking part in research and policy development related to national domains. KISA is also responsible for ensuring that false information and malicious comments on the Internet were not created and spread. KISA also supports startups and fostering new industries and services to explore blue oceans in the area of Internet promotion and information security through the Korea National Biometric Test Center.
KISA is also putting efforts into various other activities, including developing mobile applications, establishing regional information security offices, operating the IoT Innovation Center, forging global partnerships in the IoT area, and forming a technical and security support center for FinTech.
2) INTERNET SECURITY – Protecting the Information
KISA is responsible for the internet safety of Koreans by detecting and preventing Internet threats in advance. KISA has to ensure the security of Critical Information Communications Infrastructure from cyber threats such as hacking. The organization also has to ensure Personal Information Protection for numerous Korean users. KISA has to play an essential role in guiding policies related to a safe Internet environment and Internet infrastructure. KISA has to be a leading organization to strengthen the security and reliability of information systems to create a safe electronic government service environment. KISA also services to effectively prevent and respond to Internet security incidents in the private sector.
3) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION – Helping the World
With cybersecurity becoming the utmost priority for most nations, KISA also offers a program for understanding the nuances of Internet security through the Global Cybersecurity Center for Development (GCCD). Established in 2015, GCCD aims to share practical knowledge and support capacity building in the field of cybersecurity. GCCD offers a series of programs for policymakers and experts in the public sector of developing countries.
KISA also works on other Cross-Border Cooperation projects for promoting cybersecurity and enhancing the capacities of developing nations. KISA is headquartered in Korea with three offices and also has four overseas offices in Oman for the Middle East region, in Indonesia for Southeast Asia, Costa Rica for Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Tanzania for Africa. Their roles are to facilitate intergovernmental cooperation, including B2B/B2G/G2B, and to introduce the talented Korean cybersecurity enterprises to the global market.
KISA’s role in Korean Startup Ecosystem
KISA has been supporting startups since its inception by providing a sustainable and reliable internet environment, which is the most vital element in the growth of startups.
KISA helps startups to commercialize their business models and enhance a competitive edge in the field of security technology through various programs throughout the year. In November 2019, KISA had organized a business meeting ‘K-Security Business Meeting’ in Jakarta, Indonesia, for startups in the cybersecurity business to make inroads into the Indonesia business system. KISA had also organized the KIC-KISA Cyber Summit in Washington, USA successfully with eight promising cybersecurity startups pitching IoT security software, hardware, and device platform intelligence ideas to American investors.
KISA aims to nurture startups in the IoT, security, and FinTech industry and has established the ONE-STOP service to support startups to gain ground not only in the domestic market but also in the global market to expand their business models. Last year, KISA had announced that it would support at least ten blockchain-related projects with 10.5 million won or $9 million in funding in 2020. KISA has been funding such projects since 2017.