2018 Security Business President Interview
2018 Security Business President Interview
“We MOVE with Trust”
▶ What do you think was the biggest issue in the video surveillance market in 2017 and why?
In my opinion, the biggest issue in the market this year was “cybersecurity.” I recall being stunned when products developed by some of the world’s leading companies were hacked so easily through backdoor methods. Also, concerns regarding IoT devices installed in homes being hacked are also being raised constantly.
In reality, the bigger issue lies with imported IP cameras whose cybersecurity is vulnerable, but are being installed in national public organizations. Since IP cameras are connected to a network and allow us to check video feeds in real time anywhere at any time, public organizations are exposed to hacking threats, putting themselves at a constant risk of national security leaks. Fortunately, the Ministry of Science and ICT is aware of these issues, which have also been discussed in a parliamentary inspection of government offices. This indicates that there is a general consensus regarding the security of IP cameras in public organizations.
▶ How do you evaluate the overall conditions of Korea’s video surveillance market in 2017?
As terror and safety threats grow around the world, there is also a growing demand for security products. For the same reason, there are continuous interests and demands in Korea’s video surveillance market, which stem from efforts to prevent crimes and terror threats, protect public facilities, and monitor natural disasters.
Despite the global trends, the Korean market has faced significant challenges due to the inflow of low-priced Chinese products. In my opinion, this has greatly damaged the industry’s ecosystem. I believe that large corporations and small giants must learn to coexist, for instance, through technological cooperation, in order to restore the ecosystem.
While the role that large enterprises like Hanwha Techwin play is important, I believe the government should also make efforts, policy-wise, to protect the competitiveness of the industry in Korea.
▶ You were newly appointed as CEO on August 8, this year. What was your first priority when you took the position?
After starting at my new post, I focused on improving the profitability and the characteristics of our businesses. Rather than overexerting ourselves to achieve successful returns unconditionally in all business fields, my goal is to strive for qualitative growth, not quantitative, through selection and concentration. That is why we are planning to specifically target strategic markets with our strategic products.
The global market is changing rapidly. It is hard to predict what will happen tomorrow, and we cannot forecast our business performance easily. Therefore, I will be leading our business by making quick decisions using a scenario-based approach every step of the way. We will make bold investments to secure the core competitiveness of our businesses while considering ROI (Return on Investment), and enhance the step-by-step performance management process.
▶ In 2017, Hanwha Techwin has performed various activities and made great achievements. It has joint hosted the 17th ONVIF Developers’ Plugfest and won the Grand Prize at the High-tech Safety Industry Product and Technology Awards in Korea in the second half of the year. Can you tell us about other activities and achievements in 2017?
Early this year, we succeeded with our global launch of the Wisenet X series featuring the Wisenet 5 SoC, packed with Hanwha Techwin’s core technologies. With the launch of the Wisenet X series, we have established a strong product line-up ranging from basic to high-performance, and this has allowed us to bring improved technology to our customers.
The Wisenet X series was awarded the Best New Product of the Year by ADI Global Distribution in the UK, and named the winner of the Video Surveillance Hardware category in the Benchmark Innovation Awards, also in the UK. Recently, we won the Grand Prize at the High-tech Safety Industry Product and Technology Awards in Korea, awarded by the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy.
These achievements made us realize that our technology is being recognized in both domestic and global markets.
In addition, we have introduced our technology and created more opportunities to communicate with our customers by participating in global exhibitions such as Intersec, SECON, ISC, and IFSEC. Moreover, by co-hosting a Developers’ Plugfest with ONVIF, we had an amazing opportunity to grasp current trends and discuss future directions in technology with leading companies around the world.
▶ Hanwha Techwin launched the new extraLUX series in the second half of 2017. What are the characteristics and advantages of these new products?
The extraLUX series are products that demonstrate outstanding performance in extreme low-light environments. Featuring a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor with a F0.94 lens, extraLUX ensures clear and sharp images in low-light environments. As the Sense-I technology applied to the Wisenet 5 chipset produces very little noise and motion blur, it is being praised as a product that sets a new bar for video monitoring quality.
Some of the Wisenet X series camera models that were launched this year have been recognized as eco-friendly products that minimize greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions. For these products, we acquired Carbon Footprint Labeling Certification from the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute. Carbon footprint labeling first started in the UK. Ever since we acquired Carbon Footprint Labeling Certification for the first time in the CCTV industry in Korea back in 2010, we have been working tirelessly to acquire additional certifications. The demand for certified products is expected to increase in advanced and western markets that value the environment. Hanwha Techwin will continue to be at the forefront of creating an advanced eco-friendly industrial system that values the environment as the leader of the security industry.
▶ CCTVs are a major project in the video surveillance field, and the industry is having a tough time due to low-priced Chinese products. How is Hanwha Techwin responding to this issue?
It is true that large Chinese companies are quickly making inroads into the Korean video surveillance market. As a result, some SMEs that lack financial power have suffered significant damage over the past several years. The entire industry’s ecosystem has been severely damaged. However, a low pricing strategy alone can’t guarantee a dominant position in the market forever, and I believe that it is now reaching its breaking point. The video surveillance market is a market that is highly affected by products’ technology, stability, and reliability. Lately, the video surveillance market has been busy, developing future technologies based on deep learning.
Hanwha Techwin also strives to develop deep-learning based technologies. I believe there is no cause for major concern as long as we continue to deliver high-quality products in the future. We believe it is important to collaborate with other competitive companies that possess advance technologies for together growth in the future. Working “together,” we can reach “further.” There is still a long journey ahead of us before we expand further into the global market, but it will be easier if we learn to coexist and collaborate with other outstanding Korean companies. Meanwhile, with our manufacturing technologies and facilities that ensure the safety and reliability of our products, and by providing customers with values that go beyond safety through thorough follow-up services and support systems, we are differentiating our products from low-priced Chinese products.
▶ Hacking has become a hot issue for IP cameras. The government is also making efforts to prevent the hacking of IP cameras. To my knowledge, Hanwha Techwin is operating a separate S-CERT team. Tell us about how Hanwha Techwin is preventing and responding to hacking attacks both internally and externally.
Hanwha Techwin has been monitoring security vulnerabilities and developing relevant policies and software since 2014. This was long before the concept of cybersecurity became popular in the video surveillance market. Furthermore, since January of 2016, we have been running the S-CERT Team, which independently deals with security breaches and other security issues. The S-CERT Team has not only established a permanent hacking response system, but also conducts regular penetration tests with industry-leading, third-party agencies and strengthens its security capacity.
The S-CERT Team also manages security threats through preliminary testing from the product development stage to identify potential security risks and eliminate or minimize hacking risks. It is also Hanwha Techwin’s policy not to set up a default password for all products upon shipment. This prevents users from using the default password provided by the manufacturer as-is, because doing so may weaken security. Our products are designed in a way that prompts users to set up their own secure passwords before using the products for the first time. Above all, Hanwha Techwin also provides a cybersecurity whitepaper and network device security enhancement guides to help our users use our products more safely.
▶ Hanwha Techwin is also actively engaging in businesses overseas. Please tell us about some of the progress made in overseas markets in detail. Also, what are your target markets next year, and why?
Globally, there is a growing awareness of the importance of safety and security due to terror threats, civil wars, shooting incidents, and cybersecurity concerns. In this environment, we managed to win large projects in North American and European markets and provided major cities with urban surveillance solutions and banks, global franchises, and correctional facilities with a variety of solutions.
I expect that the North American and European markets will continue to maintain a similar level of growth as this year in 2018. We are also making aggressive investments, such as a building a new plant in Vietnam to reach Asian markets with massive growth potential, and establishing a Dubai branch. We’re also working hard to build stepping stones and secure our position in the market by developing strategic relationships with partners and customers through advanced presales activities.
▶ Can you tell us about Hanwha Techwin’s plans and goals for 2018?
Next year, we will be focusing more on solutions for each vertical market. We have made great efforts to plan and launch solution-specific products this year, and as an extension of such efforts, we will continue to determine and respond to the needs of customers in each vertical market next year. In addition to our well-recognized and competitive camera line-up, we aim to make our back-end storage device line-up as competitive as our camera line-up.
We will go beyond protecting the safety of our customers with outstanding products and solutions, and become a company that builds even more trust with our customers. In the industry’s ecosystem, customers are the most valuable asset.
To protect this precious asset, we abide by the following five core values that we’ve established: Corporate ethics, outstanding products, unmatched quality, reasonable pricing, and cybersecurity. Based on these five core values, Hanwha Techwin will continue to provide the best customer support in 2018. I believe the video surveillance business, which is directly linked to public safety and personal security, is an extremely important seed that must be planted for Korea. With the confidence and sense of duty that comes with being the No. 1 company in our field in Korea, we will lead the global market as guardians of safety.
Interviewd by. Security World Korea