Israel responds to world’s latest threat: cyber terrorism

Cyber terrorism and crime is set to become the world’s greatest security threat, according to Israeli State Comptroller Yosef Shapira who hosted an international seminar earlier this month with his foreign counterparts who were very much in agreement.

Austrian, Estonian, Finnish, German, Indian, Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and American comptrollers encouraged international cooperation as a key response to this threat.

Cyber terrorism is increasingly seen as a fourth front after air, land and sea defense, according to Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, speaking last month at the Meir Dagan Conference at the Netanya Academic College,

A worst case scenario is a sophisticated enemy hacking into and taking control of Israel’s own weaponry and using it against the Jewish state.

Israel has become the world’s second largest cyber defense market after the United States. Its success is due to a combination of a vibrant and highly successful national start-up culture and the hothouse environment of the Israeli military where innovation is tested against the unparalleled demands of Israel’s security situation being surrounded on all sides by actual or potential threats. In short, the requirement for both security and innovation is embedded into Israeli society at every level, culturally, psychologically and politically.

“The largest military unit in the Israel Defense Forces is 8200, Israel’s legendary elite cyber intelligence unit, a high-tech spy agency that is considered by intelligence analysts to be one of the most formidable of its kind in the world,” Ron Cheng, contributor to Forbes magazine, pointed out. “With a culture that closely resembles that of a start-up, soldiers work in small groups, with limited resources, to crack major—possibly existential—problems. The soldiers are encouraged to question and challenge authority. In other words, they are trained to think creatively.”

Innovation is a vital component of cyber warfare because not only is the threat growing but also rapidly changing. The rapid adaption of Israel from a nation of fabric manufacturers and fruit growers to a leading center of cyber defense is an indicator that it is up to the challenge.

Ultimately, while Israel’s night and day vigilance and defenses could fail, fortunately the promises of God are not dependent on the IDF or on Israel’s cyber defense capability.

“Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalm 121:4