The Defense Ministry will set up a new body to support local defense industries
in coping with cyber threats, ministry director-general Maj.-Gen. (res.)
Udi Shani announced Tuesday.
Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Shani
said the new center would be based at the ministry’s Authority for the
Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
challenge is the system. It’s made up of [data] storage, and products
that are totally civilian, like laptops,” he said.
Noting that most
military networks, such as the Ground Forces’ Digital Ground Army system, use
Windows and that many components are made abroad, he said the threat “can’t be
fenced in for sure.”
He called for Israeli manufacturers to begin
producing routers, hardware and microchips to decrease the threat of
contaminated components entering sensitive systems.
“If we do this all
in-house, we enter a whole new budget vector,” he said, arguing that supervision
of manufacturing would help contain new threats.
Israeli defense firms
must be encouraged to provide in-house solutions when they build systems, and
medium-sized and small start-ups should receive such encouragement as well, he
The private sector, he noted, is filled with creativity and can
help the country obtain state-of-the-art defense tools to cope with emerging
Declaring that criminals and terrorists in the virtual
world represented a whole new threat category, he said the time had come to do
away with “traditional, linear thinking.”
He recommended that security
agencies cooperate to ensure “transparency and commitment” in the cyber-defense
Relating to Shani’s call for supervision, Dr. Eviatar Matania,
head of the National Cyber Bureau at the Prime Minister’s Office, warned that
the state could not supervise computer and network manufacturers to an excessive
degree, since such companies were global and free.
“We have to be very,
very careful,” he said.
Still, he agreed that cyber challenges were
posing a “threat to Western civilization as we know it,” adding that terror
organizations and criminals could undermine whole states.
doesn’t know how to deal with this,” he said.