It is no secret that Israel is a world leader in cybersecurity solutions. According to the National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel exports of cybersecurity solutions totaled $6 billion in 2014 – 8% of the global market’s total of $71.7 billion.
North America and Europe (mainly the US and the UK) naturally account for most of this total, but the Asian Pacific region has a much higher growth rate, and the countries leading industrial growth in this region are China and India.
Although Israel is neither the US, the UK, nor China, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch devotes a separate, albeit small, section in its report to Israel’s contribution to the global industry, writing, “Israel stands out as a leader in small specialists; due to its political position and history, it has a very focused agenda to produce leading-edge solutions for the military/intelligence community (although, like the UK, there is a long history of its best startups being acquired by larger overseas players, mainly in the US). Israel is considered an international leader in cybersecurity with its “Unit 8200,” which is the largest intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). For instance, in 2014, Israel exported more than $6 billion in cybersecurity products, which was double the total in 2013 (source: 5th Annual International Cybersecurity Conference 2015).”
This is actually the reason why Israel is among the 10 countries best prepared for cyber attacks. A survey by the HCSS company of the preparedness of countries for such attacks according to various criteria gave Israel a general rating of 3, the ninth highest. The US had the highest rating, 3.8, following by the UK (3.6) and the Netherlands (3.5). Israel’s rating is higher than that of France (2.8), Russia (1.6), and even China (1.4). According to these figures, Israel has one of the world’s lower cybercrime rates: 1%, compared with 23% for the US (the highest) and 9% for China (second highest). Israel’s cybercrime rate is the same as that of Argentina and Australia.
The best example of what Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said about Israel is Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), whose three founders – Gil Shwed, Shlomo Kramer, and Marius Nacht – all served in Unit 8200. Check Point, the flagship of the Israeli cybersecurity industry and Israeli high tech in general, realized what cybersecurity was long before anybody knew what cyberspace was.
Today, 23 years after it was founded, with a $15 billion market cap, Check Point is one of the world’s largest public information security companies, and according to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, its exposure to cyberspace is greater than that of Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. On Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s list of the 50 companies with exposure to cybersecurity, 15 are classed as having high exposure (in contrast to medium or low exposure). Check Point is one of the 15, along with Israeli company CyberArk Software Inc.(Nasdaq:CYBR) and Palo Alto Networks, a US company founded by Nir Zuk, one of Check Point’s first employees.
According to a special report by IVC on the Israeli cybersecurity industry, there are 430 companies operating in the sector in Israel, compared with just over 250 in 2006 (almost double the number a decade later) and 20 in 1996 (20 times as many in 20 years). That sounds like a lot, but most of the companies are very new on the scene, and perhaps the definition of industry should be changed slightly in this case. Of those 430 companies, only 46% have initial revenue, and only 9% have annual revenue of over $10 million. This means that the remaining 45% are still development laboratories for all intents and purposes, i.e. companies whose product is not yet commercial, but could contribute to the general evolution of the sector.
If you are interested in the Israeli capabilities in Cybersecurity, check out the HLS2016 program, the 4th International HLS & CYBER Conference, a biennial event that combines a comprehensive exhibition of the most recent technological advancements and the latest developments with the presence of and insights by some of the leading international experts in the field and one-on-one meetings with high-level executives from the most reputable security firms in the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet industry leaders
and government officials, from Israel and around the world, who will share their expertise and operational experience in handling security challenges, all the while discovering Israel’s latest technological solutions on the market at the 4th International HLS & CYBER Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 14 – 17, 2016.