New cyber-security startups launched in Beersheba
An incubator will be located in the new Beersheba Technology Park near the university and the new technological campus of the IDF.
Israelis working at computer desks Photo: Courtesy photos: Tsofen
Israel’s first-ever cyberspace security incubator will be established in
Beersheba under the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Industry and Trade
Ministry, thanks to BGN Technologies – Ben-Gurion University’s technology
transfer company – and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), a leading venture
capital firm. The initiative comes in the wake of rising cyberthreats and
increasing attacks on critical computer infrastructure in Israel and around the
The incubator will be located in the new Beersheba Technology Park
adjacent to the university and the new technological campus of the Israel
Defense Forces’ telecommunications division. The incubator is expected to begin
operations in a few months.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is one of
the leaders in academic applied research in cyber-security as part of its
Homeland Security Institute. Israel has been named one of the top three world
leaders in the field of cybersecurity.
About 25 Israeli information
security companies have been acquired by multinational organizations, and
Israeli companies are counted among the world’s leading information- technology
JVP plans to choose a select number of new startups
each year from hundreds of candidates in the fields of cyber-security and
enterprise software to join the incubator. Once established, the incubator will
seek to expand to include an additional incubator for community-based social
initiatives and a cultural arm that will bring Jerusalem’s Zappa Music Club to
the southern town.
“Hi-tech is the engine of the Israeli economy, and
it’s important that we bring it to areas and population groups throughout the
country,” said JVP founder and chairman Erel Margalit.
leadership in the area of cyber-security is a strategic asset for the country,
and we can leverage it not only for security purposes, but also economically and
socially. Establishing the Beersheba incubator alongside a social incubator and
other cultural hotspots can create cultural and social change along with 1.000
JVP’s Yoav Tzruya, who will be heading the cyber-security
incubator, believes it may be the key to expanding hi-tech development in the
Negev. “Our vision is to turn Beersheba into a center of innovation and
creativity in the field of hi-tech, and a leader in the field of
cyber-security,” said Tzruya.
JVP, established in 1993, manages eight
venture capital funds with over $900 million under management having created and
supported over 90 companies over the past 19 years.
JVP has long focused
many of its investments in the area of cybersecurity and enterprise software,
the most prominent in this space today being Cyber Security company Cyber-Ark,
which has over 1,100 customers worldwide being installed in eight of the world’s
top 10 banks.
SHORT DISRUPTIONS CAUSE PERFORMANCE MIXUPS Our lives are so
full of short interruptions – such as answering or silencing one’s cellphone or
a colleague stopping by to say hello – that they have become natural to
But that doesn’t mean they are good for us. These interruptions have
been found to have a surprisingly large effect on our ability to accurately
complete a task, according to new research led by Michigan State
The study, in which 300 people performed a sequence-based
procedure on a computer, found that interruptions of about three seconds doubled
the error rate.
The resultant errors can be disastrous for professionals
who deal with life and death – such as airplane mechanics and emergency- room
physicians, said lead researcher and psychology Prof. Erik Altmann.
this means is that our health and safety is, on some level, contingent on
whether the people looking after it have been interrupted,” said Altmann. The
study, funded by the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research, is one of the first to
examine brief interruptions of relatively difficult tasks.
appear in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
participants were asked to perform a series of tasks in order, such as
identifying with a keystroke whether a letter was closer to the start or the end
of the alphabet. Even without interruptions a small number of errors in sequence
Sometimes participants were interrupted and told to type two
letters – which took 2.8 seconds – before returning to the task. When this
happened, they were twice as likely to mess up the sequence. Altmann said he was
surprised that such short interruptions had a large effect. The interruptions
lasted no longer than each step of the main task, he noted, so the time factor
likely wasn’t the cause of the errors.
“So why did the error rate go up?”
Altmann said. “The answer is that the participants had to shift their attention
from one task to another.
Even momentary interruptions can seem jarring
when they occur during a process that takes considerable thought.”
potential solution, particularly when errors would be costly, is to design an
environment that protects against interruptions. “So before you enter this
critical phase: All cell phones off at the very least,” Altmann said.