Israel’s 11th Annual Cyber Week Conference Highlights Record Cyber Funding and Critical Need For Coordinated Cyber Response

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Minister of Public Security, Omer Bar Lev addressed national level cyber threats at Israel’s 11th annual Cyber Week Conference, and were joined by cyber heads from the US, UK, Germany, Singapore, Czech Republic, and elsewhere. Private sector giants such as IAI, IBM, Checkpoint and Microsoft also took part alongside cutting edge cyber startups and investors such as YL Ventures.

Cyber Week’s hybrid in-person-online conference, which is hosted by the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center and the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, occurred against the backdrop of unprecedented opportunities and challenges in the cyber sphere. Ransomware attacks nearly doubled in the past year to top 300M and the biggest ever publicly acknowledged payout to hackers was set at $40 million. Cyber warfare continues its rapidly growing military importance, and investments in cyber security tech reached $7.8 billion, a record level, two-thirds of which went to US and Israeli companies.

The conference touched upon the themes of today’s unprecedented cyber business environment, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pointed out that $41 out of every $100 dollars world wide is going to an Israeli startup and investment worldwide is skyrocketing. Conference speakers also touched upon the increasing frequency and danger of cyberattacks to global supply chains and the critical need to share information and mount of coordinated defense. Priminister Bennett and others highlighted Israel’s efforts, including 24 MOUs and establishment of a dedicated National Cyber Directorate led by Yigal Unna. Lastly, the Prime Minister invited other nations to join a global cybernet shield initiative to jointly coordinate the fight against cyber threats globally. 

“Today the best bang for your buck is a cyber attack and it’s just going to grow exponentially, and that makes me worried. As Prime Minister of Israel, I view this as one of the top threats to Israel’s national security and the world’s security,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett

Prime Minster Bennett also spoke about the need for further cooperation, “If you’re on a crowded bus and there is a pickpocket who tries to steal your things you can be silent or you can take out red spray, spray him in the face, and mark him as a criminal so everyone else can band together and defend themselves, our national cyber agency is that spray and that megaphone. That same national network [Israel’s National Cyber Directorate] is opening up and we’re announcing the global Cybernet Shield, using the very same principles of cyber connectivity because if you fight alone you will lose, but if we fight together we will win.”

Israel’s Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, expressed similar sentiments and called for a cyber version of Israel’s famous anti-missile defense system, Iron Dome, “Cyber is now a vulnerable space that must be protected like the sea, space, air, and ground,” He also called for a no-tolerance policy by the Israeli government when it comes to Cyber attacks, “Our message is very clear – be it a rocket, or a keyboard, we will not tolerate anyone to threaten our people.”

About CyberWeek:

Cyber Week is a leading international cybersecurity event that provides the unique opportunity for experts from industry, government and academia to share their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities in the field. Cyber Week is hosted by the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center and the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, at Tel Aviv University, headed by Major Gen. (Ret.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel together with the National Cyber Directorate at the Prime Minister’s Office, The Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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