This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 8/29/2019


 201620172018 2019 (est.)
Total Market Size1,771.681,875.942,063.612,084.26
Total Local Production1,128.071,165.061,281.571,294.39
Total Exports88.3391.33100.46101.46
Total Imports732.00802.27882.50891.33
Imports from the U.S.554.40607.62668.38675.06
Exchange Rate: 1 USD1,1611,1311,1101,120
Source: Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA), Korea Information Security Industry Association (KISIA) Unit: $1 million.

The threat of cyber-attacks is increasing and as internet-enabled products become even more commonplace, the attacks become more sophisticated and serious.  The ransomware “WannaCry” attack in May 2017 shook the Koreans awake to the notion that their society was being attacked at every possible vulnerability, not just with physical arms, but also through easily executable cyber-attacks.  This sudden awakening created a paradigm shift in the prioritization of homeland cybersecurity and importance of educating the Korean public on cybersecurity.

Market demand for cyber security products and services in Korea has grown as the level of customer intelligence about security awareness has grown.  According to “2019 Domestic and Foreign Security Market Forecast”, the market demand for cyber security in 2018 was over $2.0 billion representing 4.2 percent growth over 2017.    

The initial market growth was led by established global cyber security firms with traditional box-type products that are installed.  Market share has been expanded to include next generation or superior capabilities such as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) and next generation firewall solutions.  Regardless of the size of the firms or solutions’ countries of origin, because of vulnerabilities exposed by WannaCry, Koreans sought best-in-class or cutting-edge solutions to protect their systems from the cyber-attacks.

South Korea recognizes that cyber-security is a matter of national security.  Although the country boasts one of the world’s fastest and most mobile IT infrastructures, it also has an insecure infrastructure that is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.  The frequency and gravity of cyber-attacks has prompted the South Korean government to re-evaluate its cyber-security strategy.  There are three agencies equipped to handle issues of cyber-security: The National Cyber-Security Center, the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA), and the National Police Agency’s Cyber Terror Response Center.  These agencies are responsible for identifying, preventing, and responding to cyber-attacks and security threats.   

Reflecting current geopolitical circumstances with cyber risks, cyber-attacks from North Korea have declined since 2018 as the relationships between the two Koreas and between the U.S. and North Korea have evolved.  However, as cyber-attacks from China and Russia targeting Korea became more active and more advanced, the overall volume of cyber-attacks and the risks has grown.  The Korean government has developed its response capability against North Korea over a long period of time, but it seems that its response capability against China and Russia is relatively weak due to lack of preparedness and information.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

  • Encryption for network access
  • Intrusion prevention systems (IPS)
  • Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)
  • Cloud Computing Security
  • IoT Security
  • Email phishing security


A myriad of opportunities exists for U.S. firms to provide cutting-edge cyber security solutions for critical infrastructure in South Korea.  Due to its advanced ICT infrastructure, South Korea is an ideal market for U.S. firms seeking to test cyber security solutions before deployment in other markets. 

To enter the cyber security market, the U.S. Commercial Service in Korea recommends that U.S. technology firms partner with qualified and capable South Korean companies, which maintain existing sales networks in the finance, energy, and other key infrastructure markets, and are fully aware of local market characteristics and unique regulatory requirements. 

Web Resources

Trade Shows
RSA Security Conference 2020, San Francisco (delegation from South Korea expected) –

Key Contacts

Ministry of Science and ICT -
Korea Communications Commission -
Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) –
Korea Information Security Industry Association (KISIA) -
Korea Institute for ICT Promotion -

Local Contact

Ms. Alex Choi
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service, Korea
U.S. Embassy Seoul
188, Sejong-daero, Chongno-gu
Seoul 03141, Korea
Tel: 82-2-397-4466


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South Korea Cybersecurity Trade Development and Promotion