CyberWar: Israel’s Cyber-defense Has Silicon Valley Spinoffs

Internet security is becoming a major geopolitical issue. This year, Israel’s government established a national authority to help oversee protection of computer systems with sensitive civilian and military information. According to SiliconValley.com, Israel could be the first nation in the world to define mandatory cyberdefense steps for financial institutions.

“If I ranked the existential threats, cyber would come right behind nuclear weapons,” Carmi Gillon, former head of the Shin Bet domestic security service and chairman of Cytegic, told SiliconValley.com.

Israel reportedly began building its defenses over a decade ago in 2002 with the creation of the National Information Security Authority. This year, the additional measure of protecting civilian banks will break new ground in terms of cyber protection.

There were reportedly 2 million attempted hacks on Israel per day during last year’s war against Hamas in Gaza (Operation Protective Edge) last year.

Israel’s cybersecurity skills and technology have led to fruitful private sector investments. SiliconValley notes that in May, Israel’s biggest publicly-traded defense company, Elbit Systems, bought a cybersecurity division from Nice Systems for $158 million. Just two months before, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group reportedly invested in Jerusalem Venture Partners in order to protect and secure its own operations.

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