Why Israel Dominates in Cyber Security
September 1, 2015
Fortune — A regional power devoted to ensuring its own survival, Israel has burgeoned into a high-tech epicenter built around Internet security, anti-virus software and other cyber defense technologies. Much of this is an extension of its self-reliance, and the added fact that since the creation of modern Israel, the nation has faced enemies on its borders.
“The challenging environment Israel faces in the Middle East in the physical world has reflections also on the cyber world,” says Dudu Mimran, chief technology officer of the Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
“Security is a subject that can be taught theoretically, but nothing is a substitute for a real hands-on experience and we’ve got lots of it.”
Israel’s cyber security ecosystem in Beer-Sheva includes the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories at BGU, an over decade strong collaboration. The Negev desert city is also home to CyberSpark, a national cyber complex that is a coordinating body for cyber industry activities among government agencies, the public and academia. Jerusalem Venture Partners’ CyberLabs, Israel first cyber security incubator, is located at Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park.
Plus, in a nation where nearly every citizen faces compulsory military service, it is easy to see the ties between the military and the IT sector.
There is a flow of people who graduate from certain military units — notably those that deal with Internet-based technologies including cyber warfare — and then become highly desired talent in the private sector.
“Connect the talent pool coming out of defense organizations with the strong entrepreneurial spirit that exists here, and you get the perfect ingredient for a powerhouse, in terms of cyber security startups and technology companies,” says Mimran.