How Israel Became a Cybersecurity Superpower

May 16, 2016

Israel’s rise as one of the world’s leaders in cybersecurity has been boosted by cooperation between the military, government, education, and private sectors, a level of partnership unmatched in the Western world, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Israel’s cybersecurity sector is now worth half a billion dollars annually—second only to the United States. Public and private investment in this field is due not only to the frequent hacking attacks Israel is bombarded with, but also the country’s desire to use its tech knowledge to boost its overall economy. As a result, the Post reported, “Different sectors of society — that in the United States do not have a tradition of collaborating — appear willing in Israel to work closely together under a strong centralized authority.”

This level of collaboration is borne of necessity, explained Eviatar Matania, the head of the National Cyber Bureau. “First, we have more enemies than others. We understand that the cyberthreat is here and now. Second, a lot of Israel’s high-tech and innovation culture is in cyber. This is where we can gain an advantage over other countries in defending ourselves. And thus, we see cyber not just as a threat to mitigate, but also as one of our economic engines.”

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