This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led discussions on the subject of cyber security, and Israel’s incredible successes in this arena.
“Cyber has substantially changed basic elements of our lives both as individuals and nations … In the new age, it is cyber defense that makes the future possible and constitutes a precondition for growth and security,” said Netanyahu.
The Prime Minister emphasised the role of collaboration between government, academia, and the private sector in the country’s charge towards world leadership in cyber affairs. This collaboration gave rise to a $3.5 billion cyber security industry in the 8 million people country that is far and above anything its similarly-sized competitors have managed to produce. The similarly sized Hong Kong, for example, while an economic powerhouse, has only a fraction of the cyber industry Israel does.
Netanyahu said that Israel strives to become a “global cyber greenhouse … in which the spirit of innovation and technological assets create pioneering strategies and solutions for Israel and the world.”
The hawkish Prime Minister warned of the growing threat from militant Islamists, and the risks they pose as they adopt ever more modern tools. “These militants are using the technologies that we use,” he said.
As one of the top five major cyber powers in the world, accounting for about 10 percent of global cyber security related business, Israel is on the forefront of the fight against digital terrorism as well, Netanyahu said. But the country cannot stand alone against “the forces of medievalism” and there is a “critical need for like-minded governments to have serious discussions about cooperation in the broader international realm,” he said.
Some 3,000 participants attended the two-day event, including representatives from both Israeli and international startups, corporations, and multinationals, as well as entrepreneurs, investors, and government officials from around the globe.
Watch Netanyahu’s speech: