Israel takes security very seriously, and that sentiment spills over into the cybersecurity world as well. The country has become a leader in cybersecurity. Last year, Thomas Bossert, Assistant to the U.S. President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, announced the U.S.-Israeli bilateral cyber working group. Israel is also helping smaller nations, assisting in the creation of 300+ cybersecurity startups, exporting $6.5 billion in cybersecurity products and attracting foreign investors.
Just last month, U.S. Governor John Bel Edwards met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss partnerships on cybersecurity.
Like other security-related things, Israel is taking on the role of teacher, guiding other countries in the right direction and sharing our knowledge.
Part of the reason why Israel is leagues ahead of other countries in terms of cybersecurity is because the government has taken an active role in pushing the industry along. There is constant collaboration between the government, universities and businesses. The government usually takes an advisory role, guiding things along.
There are more than 400 cybersecurity companies in Israel, and many of them are working with automakers to address security issues associated with self-driving vehicles.
These companies are also working with both local and foreign web hosting companies to improve their security measures, like ensuring SFTP is available to customers and improving server maintenance. These measures allow web hosting companies to offer a deal on web hosting without having to compromise their customers’ security.
The military is also playing a major role in pushing the industry forward. The 8200 Unit, which is an elite part of the Israeli Defense Force, is actually serving as a training ground for some of the top cybersecurity companies in the world.
In a rare move, the Israel Defense Forces issued a press release this year stating that the 8200 unit prevented an ISIS air attack against a Western country last year.
The military recruits individuals with strong language and computer skills when they enter the armed forces at the age of 18. They spend three years working on cybersecurity before heading back into civilian life. During their time in the military, these individuals face real-life challenges and employ leading-edge solutions to these problems.
These units usually operate in the same way a startup operates. Individuals work together as teams, have opportunities to lead other people, are responsible for making significant decisions, and they must survive failure. These are essential entrepreneurial skills, which is why many of the individuals in these units go on to launch their own cybersecurity startups.
Going beyond the military, Israel is the only country in the world that offers cybersecurity as an elective in high school and is the first country to offer a PhD in cybersecurity. The country has six university research centers dedicated to cybersecurity.
To say that Israel takes cybersecurity seriously is an understatement. All of the above-mentioned efforts to make online security a priority is why the country is miles ahead of others in this important industry. It’s no surprise then that investment in cybersecurity companies may triple in the next two years.