The IDF will have its own secure cellphone network in the next five years, the head of a teleprocessing unit announced on Sunday.

Brig.-Gen. Ayala Hakim, commander of the Teleprocessing and IT Unit in the IDF’s Teleprocessing Branch, said the new network would be called Golden Ring, and will also feature a military broadband and IP network.

The IDF’s current network, called Mountain Rose, is coming to the end of its service, and must be replaced, Hakim added.

Addressing the IDF’s scheduled relocation to the Negev region of southern Israel, Hakim said underground servers were now being built ahead of the construction of the new Teleprocessing Branch base.

“The branch must be both technological and operational, and connect between the two worlds,” she said at a teleprocessing conference.

One of the biggest challenges facing the IDF is securing its communications and computer systems – a task that will keep the Teleprocessing Branch busy for the next decade, Hakim said. To that end, the IDF has set up headquarters dedicated to securing strategic connectivity.

In January, the IDF’s Information Security Branch identified an increase in attempts by foreign hostile intelligence entities to listen on army communications.

The increased threat includes a major attempt to eavesdrop on cellphones used by the IDF, as well as hacking attacks directed at army computer networks.

Sources from the Information Security Branch did not name who specifically was behind the efforts, but said they expected the stepped-up threat to continue.

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