Massive Israeli presence at world’s biggest cyber security event

Yes, I shamelessly stole David Shamah’s headline from Barcelona because it also fits this week’s happening in San Francisco. Like the Mobile World Congress, the RSA Conference is the world’s biggest gathering of cyber security innovators and veterans alike.

Nobody seems to know the exact number of Israeli cyber security companies attending this year’s show but 200 does not seem unreasonable. Some will be exhibiting – this year the exhibits cover nearly 400,000 square feet (over 37,000 square meters) of floor space at the massive Moscone Center. Many others are simply here to network, develop business opportunities and strategic partnerships, or learn. And not a small number of Israel’s cyber security thought leaders were selected to speak at one or more of the many educational sessions available.

Last year nearly 30,000 people attended. This year even more people are expected.  It seems like Hebrew is heard as often as English.  Israelis seem to be everywhere – on the streets, in the conference rooms, and at the many company-sponsored cocktail parties, each with its own theme. Some believe that Israelis – both those who flew from Israel to attend as well as those working in the United States (and other countries) – represent no less than 10% of all attendees but at times it feels like perhaps that number is even higher.

There is no doubt that Israeli influence in cyber security is stronger than at any time since the emergence of the commercial Internet in the mid-1990s. From startups to the name brands, Israelis are at the front-and-center.

One of the highlight’s of the week was today’s Innovation Sandbox which focusses on the technologies that promise to transform the cyber security industry. The event showcased the top ten rising stars. Of the 70 promising cyber security startups that applied, all with products that launched after March, 2013, the ten finalists included two Israeli companies: Skycure and Light Cyber.

Skycure, co-founded by Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit, is an active mobile security solution that addresses emerging security threats without impacting functionality, user experience or battery life, which enables organizations to embrace the bring your own device (BYOD) trend.

Light Cyber, co-founded by Giora Engel and Michael Mumcuoglu, protects organizations from targeted threats by providing predictive breach detection. By analyzing network and endpoint information and profiling the normal behavior of network users and devices, Light Cyber detects and alerts on malicious activity early on in the attack lifecycle allowing the user to block the attack before the damage is done.

Although neither company won, expect to hear great things from both in the coming years.

On Tuesday morning the investment bank, AGC Partners, and Israeli venture capital firm Glilot Capital Partners, in collaboration with the California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC) and the Government of Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast, will be showcasing innovative Israeli cyber security companies. At the end of the day, Israeli venture capital firm JVP will be announcing the $1M winner of their first “cybertition”. It should prove to an exciting conclusion of the competition that was announced at Cyber Tech Israel in January.


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About the Author
Ron Moritz is a well-regarded high tech executive and cybersecurity expert. He is the cybersecurity venture partner with equity crowdfunding platform, OurCrowd, and recently founded TrueBit Cyber Partners offering cybersecurity technology due diligence services.
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