Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has announced that he will be appointing Gabi Portnoy, CEO of ENvizion Medical and a former IDF Brigadier-General in intelligence, as the new chief of the Israel National Cyber Directorate.
Portnoy’s appointment, with wide support and no known detractors, is expected to be approved by the cabinet on Sunday.
Though Portnoy does not have as extensive a cyber background as did his predecessors Yigal Unna and Buky Carmeli, he is viewed as a top-notch candidate with a more than sufficient background in cyber and excellent experience in management. He served in the IDF in both units 8200 and 9900.
The post of INCD chief has been vacant for nearly seven weeks since Unna stepped down on January 5.
Portnoy, 52, received his first degree in industrial engineering from Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art and his MBA from Ono Academic College.
Unna and Carmeli have been credited with keeping Israel relatively free of mega cyber hacks as compared to the US and some other Western countries, though the rate of successful major hacks on Israel has increased in the coronavirus era since large new parts of the economy moved into the digital sphere.
In addition, the cyber capabilities of Israeli adversaries, like Iran, have progressed significantly.