The Israeli Experience

Straits Times: For over a decade, Israel has been at the forefront of innovation in tackling cyber-security challenges. The source of its relative advantage in responding to cyber threats is a unique adaptive cyber ecosystem.

In essence, its government, military, academia and private sector have had their cyber programmes and processes converged, creating a framework that benefits from high-value government-coordinated policy initiatives, concerted research and development projects, and continual upgrading of cyber capabilities. Walls between the private and public sectors have been torn down.

The realities of Israel’s ever changing security environment mean that cyber conflicts occur not only during wartime or crises, but also on a persistent basis, including cyber attacks on computerised systems, physical systems and, most importantly, the actual processes controlling critical information infrastructures. The progressive complexity of these security challenges requires Israeli state and private sector responses that continually adapt to the threats and are fast and creative.

The net result is a national cyber-defensive envelope – a multi- layered cyber-defence strategy leveraging a comprehensive national cyber-defence policy, advanced technology and highly trained personnel.

Israeli cyber start-ups have a global impact, diffusing solutions that protect against sophisticated cyber threats. According to the National Cyber Bureau, as of last year, there have been over 200 Israeli start-ups working on cyber-security solutions, resulting in US$3 billion (S$4 billion) in cyber exports, second only to the United States, and constituting 5 per cent of the global market.

In 2013, Israeli start-ups raised US$165 million in investment funding, a figure representing 11 per cent of global capital invested in cyber security. Moreover, 14.5 per cent of all the firms worldwide attracting cyber-related investment are Israeli-owned.

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