PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his remarks at the Tel Aviv University cyber security conference, June 26, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
“Every month, Israel experiences dozens of cyber attacks,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Tel Aviv University cyber conference on Monday. He then confided to the crowd that “probably there are three to five going on right now” perpetrated by “the usual suspects and a few others.”
Continuing to describe the issue as a “threat which is everywhere,” Netanyahu said the distinction between hi-tech and low-tech was “disappearing,” creating more cyber vulnerability. As a result of the threat, he said, “the need for cyber security is growing exponentially” and it is “a problem for all governments” to protect both the public and private sectors.
This means that Israel must “try to work with as many” other countries as it can in combating cyber attacks.
To further address the threat, Netanyahu explained how he created the National Cyber Authority to provide more comprehensive and coordinated national cyber defense.
“Israel has 600-700 startups,” he said, emphasizing that “we need to be speed chess players” to continue to be one of the world’s top five countries in the cyber industry.
On the positive side, the prime minister said that “once upon a time, it was detrimental to be an Israeli company, but today in cyber, it’s a complete advantage. The prominent role that Israeli companies play in cybertech has made our companies very attractive for investment, with 20% of global cyber investment going toward Israeli companies.”
Further describing Israeli success in the cyber sector, he said: “There used to be a thing called the Arab boycott. That has dissipated.”
He suggested that Israeli hi-tech and cyber expertise were breaking negative molds of how some countries treat Israel.