By Ori Bar-Chaim, Director General at Regional Branch of Custodio Pte. Ltd – a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Camila Edry, Department Manager of Cyber Centers at Cyber Directorate – Elta, IAI
Following bilateral cyber discussions with Japan, the Israeli Ministry of Economy has established the Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium (IC3). IC3 is led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and includes several leading Israeli cyber companies. Its goal is to provide a solution for Japanese concerns over potential cyber-attacks and offer an end-to-end solution for enhancing the cyber security of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Two years ago, the prime ministers of Israel and Japan met to discuss collaborating on cyber security. During these discussions, Israel proposed to help Japan to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Japanese side expressed an interest in using cutting-edge cyber-security technologies that could provide a solution for potential cyber threats and challenges related to the Games. Israel suggested technological solutions that could be provided by Israeli cyber companies, with the Israeli government’s consent; Japan responded to Israel’s proposal positively.
The Israeli National Cyber Bureau is responsible for cyber cooperation with its Japanese counterpart. It found the appropriate framework to promote the Japanese request through the Israeli Ministry of Economy’s Consortium programme. As part of this, IAI’s Cyber Programmes Directorate has approached several leading Israeli companies – CheckPoint, Verint, Bynet, ECI, Cyber X and ClearSky – and prepared a plan to establish the Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium, IC3. The plan was approved by the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Consortium was officially launched on 1 January 2016.
The Consortium was formed to provide a solution to the cyber challenges of the 2020 Olympics and to promote its members’ business activities by providing state-of-the-art cyber solutions to potential customers.
Israel is a renowned leader in cyber security innovation. Its leadership was fostered by the government emphasis and incentive programmes, as well as several characteristics of the Israeli cyber eco-system, including:
- The growing need for cyber security solutions, the exponential rise in cyber threats, the growth in the amount of data and ever-growing connectivity, supporting the IOT (Internet of Things) trend.
- Israel’s position and reputation as a hub of international excellence.
- Israel’s talent pool, deriving from several academic cyber faculties and the military.
The collaboration between IC3 companies is particularly notable as they are joining forces to build a better cyber security solution. The ability of the Consortium members to rise above the extremely competitive cyber marketplace and to collaborate and present the holistic, end-to-end cyber solutions is highly commendable. The IC3 companies work well together. The Consortium is loosely structured so several companies work together for specific ad-hoc projects. The members often work with leading government cyber defence organizations, cutting-edge technological companies, start-ups and international cyber and intelligence companies. This adds value and serves as power multiplier. As in defence and security, in the cyber industry there is no technology that offers a 100% end-to-end solution. The combination of cyber solutions and technologies by leading Israeli cyber companies could be a recipe for success. In the case of IC3, there is no doubt that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.
In recent months the Consortium has been busy setting up the Japanese operation. This includes signing the agreement between the Consortium companies, preparing a detailed business plan, contacting and coordinating with the Ministry of Economy, the National Cyber Bureau and Japanese institutions, producing advertising and marketing materials, creating a budget and appointing a director and local representatives.
In March 2016 IC3 members travelled to Japan for the Consortium’s launch, where they also met government officials. The Embassy of Israel organized the meetings with complete support from the Israeli Ministry of Economy. The Consortium also participated in Tokyo’s IT Week in mid-May 2016 as part of the exhibition’s Israeli booth.
Since the Consortium was established, its unified solution has been presented to different customers around the world. Customers are aware of the great advantage in receiving an integrative and unified end-to-end solution from Israel’s leading cyber companies.
The Consortium offers a solution that includes a centre for early warnings on a national level that enables for monitoring of a variety of regulated organizations and critical infrastructures. This single centre provides broad and modular cyber situational analysis at the national, sector and organizational level. Currently, most solutions focus on a single organization or ministry rather than on an overview of an entire sector or nation. A national-level solution gives a broader perspective as well as integration with additional information sources beyond the organizational level. The Consortium’s solution may also be implemented by large organizations with a wide distribution.
The Consortium incorporates an end-to-end solution including:
- Cyber threat intelligence alerts: There is a great deal of information on the web, some structured and some not. It is critical for identifying impending cyber-attacks and intentions to conduct potential attacks. The IC3 solution provides investigative tools and services that include intelligence reports tailored to the customers’ essential information requirements.
- Monitoring critical infrastructure: This is a challenging subject since more often than not, Critical National Infrastructures (CNIs) have outdated and proprietary systems. The Consortium has a solution for monitoring traffic and identifying attacks.
- A cyber alert centre that includes state-of-the-art abilities to monitor and analyse events at the organizational, sector and national level: The centre features unique algorithms that identify attacks by monitoring end-points, servers, network elements and reported events. This monitored information and raw data is fused with the collected intelligence for identifying sophisticated and complex attacks.
- A cyber research laboratory: If an organization is attacked, an system is required to investigate and identify the attack and define the appropriate countermeasures. This system includes automatic tools and access to the global information databases of our Consortium partners.
- ConOps (Methodology): IC3 offers support in defining the correct and effective ConOps (Concept of Operations) and methodology, suited for our customers’ needs and based on our broad knowhow and experience.
- Training, instruction and assessment: Establishment of a centre for training, instruction and assessment for the cyber operations centre’s staff.
- Managed security services: IC3 offers managed security services for monitoring organizations that do not have a satisfactory defence infrastructure in place.
IC3 offers an end-to-end solution. The integration of various elements in the system and the fact that they are tailored to our customers’ specific needs offers unique value. The Consortium is proud to offer Israel’s thriving cyber eco-system’s best technology for its customers to create a safer cyber environment for all of us.
IC3 has recently received requests from other Israeli cyber companies interested in joining the Consortium. In August 2016, IC3 will hold discussions to include additional companies, subject to the consent of all Consortium companies.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Ori Bar-Chaim is Director General at Regional Branch of Custodio Pte. Ltd – a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, IAI. He is also a Director of the Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium, IC3.
From 2014 to 2015 he was Director – Europe & America of SIBAT – International Defense Cooperation at Israeli Ministry of Defense. From 2010 to 2014 he was Head of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Mission to Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Myanmar and Laos. For three years, from 2008 to 2010 he took a role of Deputy Director as well as Head of Preparation Division and Head of Doctrine at Training and Development Division at the Israeli National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA). He spent eight years at the Israeli Ministry of Defense Heading the Overseas Department from 2001 to 2008. Ori acquired University Certified MA degree with honors on Public Policy at the Tel Aviv University. He also holds Bachelor degree in Management and Political Science from the Israeli Open University, with honors.
Camila Edry is the department manager of cyber centers in cyber directorate at Elta, IAI. The department is developing and integrating cyber awareness centers (CERTS) and national/enterprise Cyber security operational centers.
Camila holds a B.sc. in Mathematics and computer science from Bar-Ilan University and executive MBA from Bar-Ilan University.
Camila has over 20 years of experience in nation-wide intelligence systems development and management in various fields (SIGINT, COMINT etc.).