"We have excellent relations with Mexico" stated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning at the second largest cyber conference in the world, taking place today and tomorrow at the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center, Pavilion 2, alongside heads of state, senior global cyber industry decision-makers and officials from the Cyber industry.
Panels, events and special compounds dedicated to Cyber also operating throughout the exhibition, feature collaborations between global law enforcement authorities; International panels discussing challenges and missions; Hackers arena; Start-up competitions and more.
Prof. Rivka Carmi, President of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, addressed Beersheba’s status as Israel's new cyber capital and the university’s leading role in its development: On behalf of BGU I am honored and proud to welcome you to the cyber tech conference that we are cohosting with Israel defense since it's inception 4 years ago. We have created a robust echo system of cyber technologies’ research and development in Beer Sheva, an international model of collaboration between academia, industry and business supported by the government and the municipality.
With close to 50 multinational companies, and about 1800 employees, many of them BGU graduates and graduate students, we have started a new Silicon Valley or, more appropriately, Wadi, which tackles cyber security challenges in diverse areas looking for advanced, evolving and ever changing solutions to the ever growing world of data and digitalization that we are all facing and experiencing. This collaboration is an engine of growth and development but also one of originality and innovation that are key factors in moving ahead rapidly in imagining the future.”
Dr. Eviatar Matania, Director General, the Israel National Cyber Directorate said that the years that have passed attest to the abundance of cyber threats worldwide. Israel has been one of the first countries to prepare for the cybersecurity challenges through three primary processes. The first process – providing education and information on all cyber-related issues to the business world and the industry. The second process – the establishment of the National Cyber Authority, another move where, once again, Israel has been a world pioneer. The third process – developing cyber technology R&D processes throughout the country, including the industry, academia and educational institutions. In all of these fields, Israel is an established world leader in education, information and the development of cybersecurity technologies.”
The Director General of the Israel Electric Corporation, Yiftah Ron-Tal, called at the CyberTech 2017 Conference for the establishment of a global "Cyber Event Reporting Center" (CERC) that would concentrate all of the information, knowledge and data regarding cybersecurity for the entire world. The Director General of IEC also reported that in the past year, the number of cyberattacks staged against the Israel Electric Corporation decreased, but the attacks became more sophisticated. In the past the number of cyberattacks had reached 5.5 million per month. Ron-Tal is convinced that the world is currently involved in a continuous, on-going cyber war so the most important concept these days is cybersecurity “
Rick Snyder, Governor of the State of Michigan stated that: “in Michigan, we also have a national service cyber unit, much like the IDF. We established The Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps, gathering talented individuals who can respond if anything occurs, which I am very excited about because I believe it is the forefront of the future”.
Addressing the opening plenum of the CyberTech 2017 Conference, Gil Shwed, founder and CEO, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. presented statistics indicating that more than 90% of users fail to acquire cybersecurity systems and new protective technologies, mainly owing to the mistaken assumption that "we will not be harmed." Shwed suggested that "The correct approach is to develop and build a single, standard cybersecurity system that would handle the various types of threats against the cloud, against mobile devices and against data centers and computer systems. The key word is prevention – preventing cyberattacks, and in order to develop systems for preventing cyberattacks, intelligence should be collected regarding the various attackers. The architecture should be developed and various cybersecurity technologies should be integrated into a single system that would be offered to the clients and provide them with effective protection against attacks aimed at the cloud, mobile devices, data centers and computer systems. Today the industry is aware of the dangers and threats, and we should develop standard cybersecurity systems and convince people to use them so as to cope with the potential damage to cybersecurity through preventive measures."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke proudly of Israel’s contribution to global Cyber security: "It is no coincidence that you are here in Israel. This conference has more than 10,000 visitors from five continents. The physical size of Israel has not restricted Israel's power in cyber technology. Israel draws about one fifth of the global investment in cyber technology. This is a coefficient of 200 relative to the size of the population."
Netanyahu has also signaled to prospective investors. "Do not add regulation in the field of cyber," Netanyahu said. "The temptation of more regulation is substantial, but once you impose regulation, you will hinder the development of the cyber technology industry. Help where you can to encourage development. We are currently offering tax benefits to entrepreneurs. We also have support programs for companies that will come to Israel to establish development centers here. Additionally, we are developing the human capital of Israel through training programs in the military and in academia. I encourage everyone present to invest in Israel."
Netanyahu addressed the cyber terrorism threat. "Terrorist organizations use the same tools we use – against us," said Netanyahu. "In recent years, Iran has been developing a terrorist infrastructure in the Middle East. The Internet of Things can be used by these terrorist organizations for dangerous purposes. Unless we work together and cooperate, the future can be very menacing. In this context, Israel, the USA and other countries should cooperate at the government level as well as among the industries."
Toward the end of the Prime Minister's address, Netanyahu referred to his Twitter post regarding President Trump's initiative to build a wall along the USA-Mexico border. "I would like to clarify something regarding my tweet," said Netanyahu. "I spoke about the success of the fence in Israel. I made no remark regarding the USA-Mexico border. We have excellent relations with Mexico."
Cybertech 2017 Conference, held for the fourth year in Israel at Pavilion 2 of the Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center on January 30th - February 1st is the second largest conference and exhibition of cyber technologies in the world. Cybertech, bringing together leading investors, entrepreneurs and cyber companies, consists of a conference with prominent international speakers in the field of cyber security, as well as an exhibition hosting over 250 companies and 100 startups that will present innovative problem-solving strategies and solutions to challenges relevant for a wide range of sectors.
Photos Gilad Kavalerchik