Why Israel dominates in cyber securitySep. 6, 2015
In recent months, and especially since the nuclear deal with Iran, there has been a strain between the U.S. and Israel. Despite this, one area where the ties remain close is cyber security, with the two parties even cosigning a statement committing continued cooperation on that front last month.
A regional power devoted to ensuring its own survival, Israel has burgeoned into a high tech epicenter built around Internet security, anti-virus software, and other cyber defense technologies. Much of this is an extension of its self-reliance, and the added fact that since the creation of modern Israel, the nation has faced enemies on its borders. “The challenging environment Israel faces in the Middle East in the physical world has reflections also on the cyber world,” says Dudu Mimran, CTO of the Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University, located in Beer Sheva, Israel. “Security is a subject that can be taught theoretically, but nothing is a substitute for a real hands-on experience and we’ve got lots of it.”
And while cyber security has become worldwide issue, Israel’s cyber security expertise has evolved naturally from its constant vigilance, both online and off. Ensuring that its people remain able to take on threats and at all levels has become center to Israeli governmental strategy, and transformed what began as a cottage industry into a thriving sector of the nation’s economy.
Israel’s information security ecosystem has many aspects. There are mature companies such as Check Point; there are venture capitalists which focus on cyber such as Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) Cyber Labs; and there are research collaborations such as the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories activity at Ben-Gurion University. This array of expertise has turned heads, worldwide. “Microsoft “MSFT” and many other multi-national companies identified that Israel is a cyber powerhouse with the right talent,” says Mimran. “They invest money mostly in already acquiring existing teams to setup cyber security research and development centers.”
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