South Korea announces medical and transportation cybersecurity guide

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) have jointly released a medical and transportation cybersecurity guide at the 5th Regular Meeting of South Korea’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) Security Alliance last month. The guides are part of ongoing government efforts to enhance IoT security and establish a safe environment for operating smart devices.

Held at the Pangyo Enterprise Support Hub in Seongnam city, Gyeonggi province, the 5th Regular Meeting of the IoT Security Alliance saw 60 organisations, including public institutions, academia, IT security firms and IoT service providers, gather to discuss pressing issues on IoT security awareness and implementation. While the release of the guides were announced by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the KISA, both guides were collaborative efforts between members of the IoT Security Alliance, underscoring strong public-private partnerships in the field.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Science and ICT, the two guides, titled the “Smart Medical Cybersecurity Guide” and “Smart Transport Cybersecurity Guide” respectively, are intended to provide guidelines for not only promoting the internalisation of security measures by users of smart medical or transport devices, but also promote stronger security awareness. 

The Smart Medical Cybersecurity Guide “establishes a safe environment for medical IT security officers and device developers to work with smart medical device”, while the Smart Transport Security Guide “promotes internalisation of security for companies and users of smart transport-related products and services”.

In addition to stipulating several guidelines, the two guides also establish clear categories within the medical and transport industry to better manage the constantly expanding IoT network. Healthcare services provided by medical institutions are classified into 4 components, namely medical devices, “gateway”, networks and medical information systems; Vehicles and services which fall under the label of “smart transport” are classified according to 5 components: infotainment, communications, diagnosis and maintenance, bodywork, power and chassis, as well as 3 types : Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), and Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) communication.

By releasing the guides at the 5th Regular Meeting of the IoT Security Alliance, the Ministry of Science and ICT hopes that participants of the meeting will support its efforts to raise awareness of IoT security not only in the medical and transport industry, but also other major industries as well.

Established in June 2015, the IoT Security Alliance is South Korea’s first and largest IoT security association. The release of the “Smart Medical Cybersecurity Guide” and “Smart Transport Cybersecurity Guide” joins an increasing number of initiatives by national and international IoT security groups to enhance IoT cybersecurity worldwide. Similar groups include the IoT Cybersecurity Alliance, which comprises leading IT security providers and IoT experts across 7 companies as well as the Cloud Security Alliance, which released its own guide to enhancing IoT cybersecurity in 2016.

In South Korea, the country’s first commercial IoT network was launched in 2016 by SK Telecom. As of July 2017, the number of IoT service subscribers in South Korea stood at approximately 6 million. IoT technology was also used extensively during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to the Pyeongchang Olympics IoT guidebook, guests could use IoT devices to navigate from Incheon International Airport to Olympic event venues, and wear a wrist band that relays contextual and location-specific information.

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