Thales News Release

Thales Encryption Trends Study In South Korea: Multi-cloud Use And Intellectual Property Protection Drive New Data Security Strategies In South Korea

August 23, 2018

South Korea ranks the highest globally for encryption of data center storage and Docker containers

  • 41% of South Korean companies indicated they have adopted an encryption strategy, ranking fifth among 12 countries surveyed
  • More than any other country, South Korea places the most responsibility for data protection in the cloud on the cloud provider

Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cybersecurity and data security unveils the results of its Encryption Trends Study in South Korea. The report, based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Thales, reflects some of the changes and challenges South Korean organizations are experiencing due to the increased use of multiple cloud providers, and the need to protect sensitive information, such as intellectual property, from internal and external threats as well as accidental disclosure.

Currently, organizations are increasingly adopting encryption to address escalating data security needs. According to the report, 41% of South Korean companies indicated that they have consistently applied an encryption strategy across their organization, ranking fifth among 12 countries that participated in the survey. This is however slightly less than the global average of 43%.

Status of encryption in South Korea

The increasing use of multiple cloud providers has South Korean organizations struggling to cope with a higher number of encryption deployments, causing a greater need for skilled personnel to handle key management. In fact, 62% of respondents are using more than one cloud provider and 75% plan to in the next two years. Additionally, 88% of respondents either use the cloud for sensitive/non-sensitive applications and data today, or will do so within the next two years. South Korea ranked the highest in the survey for assigning the most responsibility for data protection in the cloud to the cloud provider.

  • The most prevalent encryption use cases in South Korea were: internet communication including SSL (68%); databases (64%); and, laptop hard drives (63%).
  • South Korea had the highest rates of encryption of all countries in the survey for data center storage (50%) and Docker containers (32%).
  • The top two reasons for encrypting data in South Korea were protection of intellectual property (61%) and protection of information against specific, identified threats (54%). Protecting customer personal information (50%) and regulatory compliance (48%) also followed closely as drivers for encrypting data.

Importance of key protection, key management and encryption applications

Both key management solutions including hardware security modules (HSMs) as well as encryption applications have an important role to play in data protection initiatives. Performance, enforcement of policy, support for emerging algorithms and key management are top of mind as encryption use grows. For South Korea, the most prevalent core use cases for HSMs were public cloud encryption including Bring Your Own Key (BYOK), database encryption and application level encryption.

Data threats and challenges for encryption

According to the report, employee mistakes were the most critical threat to sensitive data at 55%. In addition, the threats posed by temporary or contract workers (32%) and third-party service providers (29%) were each 10% higher than the global average. In addition, South Korean respondents found keys for external cloud or hosted services including BYOK keys, SSH keys, signing keys to be the key types that are most difficult to manage.

Kee-Tae Kim, Country Sales Director of South Korea says:

“As the protection of sensitive data becomes increasingly important, the demand for encryption increases along with the accompanying challenges. What’s needed to deal with today’s threat landscape is fast, scalable data security, together with strong policy management, encompassing both enterprise and cloud use cases. A key take away from this study is that enterprises are increasingly adopting encryption and investing in IT security to protect against both internal and external threats. Thales will continue to provide South Korean organizations with strong encryption solutions to protect their most sensitive data.”

The Global Encryption Trends Study is now in its thirteenth year. The Ponemon Institute surveyed more than 5,000 people across multiple industry sectors in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea.

The new 2018 South Korea Encryption Trends Study can be downloaded here.

Industry insight and views on the latest data security trends can be found on the Thales blog at

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