Soldiers from the IDF C4i Branch operating equipment.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN’S UNIT)
The IDF said Monday it will set up a unified offensive and defensive cyber-warfare center within two years to address the significant challenges the IDF faces in the cyber dimension.
The decision follows a directive issued in recent months by Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot ordering the military to set up a multi-branch committee, under the command of Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Herzl Levi, to examine ways to increase operational effectiveness in the cyber dimension.
The committee recently presented its conclusions before the IDF general staff and, based on its findings, Eisenkot elected to create a single cyber center.
Eisenkot also ordered Military Intelligence, which currently handles offensive cyber activities, and the C4i (Command and Control, Communications and Computers) Branch, which is responsible for defensive cyber activities, to work together to initiate the setting up of the center.
“The IDF has to act in all combat sectors, including the cyber dimension, which is becoming more significant by the day,” Eisenkot said, indicating that the center will enable the IDF to express its technological and personnel advantages over its enemies.
The cyber realm has become so critical, a senior military source said, that “every operational IDF order has to relate to this [cyber] aspect.”
“We have to ensure that we don’t encounter a threat that catches us unready,” the source added.
The location of the cyber branch has yet to be determined, and its establishment is to be carried out in a number of stages.
Eisenkot’s directive still needs approval from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon before work can begin. Ya’alon will likely approve the project in the coming weeks.