Incentives to be given for information security

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Incentives to be given for information security

To encourage the private sector to invest more in keeping their customers’ information private, the government said yesterday it would increase tax waivers and give financial support to companies that significantly increase their budget for information protection.

Through its plan, the government aims to double the size of Korea’s information protection market to 14 trillion won ($13.6 billion) by 2017 from 7 trillion won last year.

The plan was approved in a national policy coordination meeting hosted by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won at the Sejong Government Complex.

“We rolled out this plan to expand Korea’s information protection market, which is remarkably small even though the frequency of cybercrimes is on the rise,” the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning wrote in a statement after the meeting. “Our aim is to have the private sector voluntarily expand its investment in this area. Meanwhile, the government will invest in training workers and students in information security.”

The ministry will give a 10 percent tax waiver to cybersecurity spending at small and midsize companies through 2017, an increase from 7 percent currently.

Those companies will also receive a 25 percent subsidy toward their spending on regular inspections and consulting by security experts.

To push companies to hire cyber security experts, the government will give subsidies of up to 900,000 won per person per month toward their salary.

The government will work with local insurers to give discounts of up to 15 percent to local businesses of any size that are recognized for their strong cyber security records.

According to the ministry, Korea loses an average of 3.6 trillion won per year due to cybercrimes, about 0.3 percent of gross domestic product. This is more than double the cost of damages caused by natural disasters, at about 1.7 trillion won.

The challenge that the government will face with its new plan is that the private sector sees security of personal data as an extra cost, rather than an investment.

According to the ministry of science, only 3 percent of Korean companies invest more than 5 percent of their IT budget into security, compared to about 40 percent of companies based in the United States.

BY kim ji-yoon []

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