South Korea’s GOPAX Cryptocurrency Exchange Granted K-ISMS Cybersecurity Certificate


GOPAX, a crypto exchanged based in S. Korea was recently awarded the K-ISMS Certificate, which is the official cybersecurity standard of S. Korea. This makes it the first crypto exchange to earn such certification in the nation. It shows that the government of Korea approves the security measures GOPAX has put in place.

About The Certification

The K-ISMS is the standard for online security in Korea. It is used in selected areas such as portal services, ISPs, and server hosts. This certification is anchored in Article 47 of Korea’s Network Act. The move is significant for the blockchain industry of Korea. This is a sign that the government believes companies in the industry can achieve the highest levels of cybersecurity possible. Thus, they are now viewed in the same way as an established business in the fintech sector.

What GOPAX Officials Had to Say

The Chief Information Security Officer for GOPAX said that this is a requirement of the law once a company gets to a given extent. For instance, this could be based on the number of users or the sales that the company has made in a given period. However, he noted that the exchange had yet to get to a level where certification would be needed.

This means that the decision to seek certification was a voluntary one. The decision to do this, according to him proves the exchange is willing to self-regulate. It could help to set the standards for others in the sector.

How The Certification Works

Attaining certification is done via the KISA, which is Korea’s cybersecurity regulator. The agency has a team of specialists who examine every company that seeks certification. After that, their results are taken to a committee, which determines if a company has achieved the standards.

The audit process examines the data security procedures in place and the management processes for data security. In the latter, five areas are checked. In the former, thirteen areas are checked.

GOPAX And Government Approval

The exchange has been attractively seeking to be on the good side of regulators for a while now. In July of 2017, they received ISO/ICE 270001 certification. This made them the first exchange globally to achieve the certification. The ISO/ICE 27001 standard is utilized by companies internationally that are seeking to work with each other.

What A GOPAX Official Had To Say

According to an official of the exchange, the K-ISMS certification still carries more weight within Korea. Besides that, it means they get various discounts when they apply for cybersecurity insurance and extra points during KISA evaluations. He predicted that companies seeking to scale in Korea’s fintech sector would have to obtain the certification on the pain of penalties.

The official, Baek, said that under the nation’s Network Act, exchanges will not be listed as financial institutions. Rather, they were listed as providers of communications and information services. This means the Science Ministry regulates them and not the financial services regulator. This differs from Japan where exchanges are regulated by the financial services regulator. However, he noted that there was a push to create regulation for exchange in Korea.

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