Dmytro Spilka
Contributor to Entrepreneur.com, TechRadar and TNW.

Blueprints for security: How Israel is leading a fight against cybercrime

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In this age of unprecedented levels of interconnectivity, the need for cybersecurity is greater than ever. 

The amount of information shared worldwide is huge, and the rise of the Internet of Things will mean that our data will be recorded in more places than ever before. As technology develops, the incentives for hackers looking to profit from our personal information inevitably increases. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures calculates that cybercrime damages will exceed $6 trillion by the year 2021. 

Such astronomical costs may seem alarming, but Israel’s rapidly developing tech hubs emanating from Tel Aviv are leading the way in finding solutions to the disruptions forecast to arrive in the coming years. 

Image Source: ResearchGate

Assessing Cyber Security: A Meta-analysis of Threats, Trends, and Responses to Cyber Attacks – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Image Source: ResearchGate

In 2018, Jacob Maslow explained in The Times of Israel that the nation is focussed on assuming the role of the teacher in guiding the rest of the world in avoiding the catastrophic damages that could come with being ill-prepared to fight cybercrime. 

While many prominent nations like the US and China have struggled to limit the instances of cybercrime in recent years, Israel has kept occurrences down to 1% – significantly lower than similarly technologically advanced nations. How has Israel been so proficient in limiting cyber crime nationally? The answer could be found in the decisive action taken by companies nationwide. 

Leading the way in prevention

Today, there are over 400 cybersecurity companies in Israel, with many focusing on ensuring the safety of Internet of Things devices like self-driving cars. 

Domestic businesses are also branching out all over the world to work alongside web developers to ensure their security in the face of external threats – this includes guaranteeing that SFTP is available to customers and improving server maintenance

Demand for cybersecurity talent within Israel is almost twice as strong as their nearest competitors, Ireland. With over 5,000 postings-per-million job adverts within the nation, it’s clear to see that Israel leads the way in recruiting to ensure the safety of information online. 

In fact, investment in digital security isn’t limited to startups and expanding organisations – The 8200 Unit, an elite branch of the Israeli Defence Force, is serving as a training ground for some of the biggest cybersecurity preventative measures for the world’s largest companies in the field

Understanding the threats

Writing for Forbes in February, Senior Analyst for Moor Insights and Strategy, Chris Wilder claimed that we’re on the verge of the 5th generation of warfare: state-level hacking and cracking. 

Wilder warns that “hacking has become an industry unto itself, forcing organisations to deal with everything from malware, social engineering, and viruses, to full-on cyber warfare attacks against enterprises and governments.”

The past six years have played host to some of the most crippling cyberattacks the world has seen. In 2014, Yahoo! was hacked in a way that left some 500 million user accounts exposed, while in August of the same year it was reported that Russian hackers had stolen some 1.2 billion login details and passwords emanating from 420,000 websites worldwide

In 2017, the infamous WannaCry cyber attack led to losses of £92 million within the United Kingdom’s National Health Service as the ransomware infected thousands of outdated computing systems across the country’s hospitals and doctors surgeries. 

Following the example of innovation

While it’s clear that the intricacy of cyberattacks is increasing, so too is the quality of the technology to fight it. In January it was reported that cybersecurity investments within Israel rocketed by 47% to a total of over $1 billion through 2018 – and the rest of the world is becoming increasingly eager to step up their defences to match Israel’s security. 

There’s even an enhanced level of interest in personal security emanating from the technological melting pot of Tel Aviv. GSM networks focussing on enhanced security while using smartphones has been ramped up within companies like Irbis Network in reaction to the positive precautions introduced by Israel. 

Today, Israel is second only to the United States when it comes to the cybersecurity industry, and has an influential part to play in 20% of the overall venture-backed cyber investments worldwide. 

The Internet of Things has certainly made the world feel like a smaller place, which is just as well – because if we’re to come through the next major cyber-breach unscathed it’ll be imperative that organisations worldwide work closely together. By combatting online crime with the same urgency and industry shown within Israel, large-scale cybercrime can be banished from the next decade of innovation.

About the Author
Dmytro is a CEO of Solvid, a creative content creation agency based in London. He's also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including Entrepreneur.com, TechRadar, Hackernoon, TNW, Huff Post, and ReadWrite.
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