Israel has moved to create major a cyber arm in the Israeli military, headquarted in Beersheva, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday at the CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
“We’ve decided to move forward in the following way,” said the prime minister, according to comments released by the Israeli Government Press Office. “On the national level, first in the military we created a cyber-force. This is like the Air Force or like the Navy or like the ground forces. This is an arm of the military. I won’t enlarge on that.”
Netanyahu has made bolstering Israel’s cyber capabilities, both protecting national infrastructure and business but also military technologies, one of his priorities in the past several years, first establishing the National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, and then focusing on the IDF.
The prime minister went on to break down this new cyber force in “three dimensions”:
The first dimension … is to immunize organizations and individuals. And that means approaching businesses, giving them guidelines, best practices, standards, across the country. Every single business. Here’s what we expect you to do in cybersecurity. And that’s for immunization.
“The second thing is actually treating attacks, outbreaks, and this means: Here’s what we do, here are the things that we are going to do and we will be prepared to do in the case of actually attacks.
‘The third goes beyond that and asks what if we have mega-attacks and this requires the pooling of all our efforts, not only our civilian efforts, but also the involvement of our security establishment and all the know-how.
Netanyahu said he was seeking international cooperation from “like-minded governments” for “multinational standards,” while rejecting the notion of a universal body like the United Nations to oversee these guidelines.
“What we need here is a meeting – literally a meeting of the leaders of like-minded nations, with our top experts – to discuss what it is that we could do among countries that want to maintain the free and safe operation of our societies and how do we pool some of our resources together to that effect. Maybe from that we’ll begin to establish international standards or at least multinational standards that will increase cybersecurity. This is, I think, something that is yet to be done, but I’ve been speaking about this with a number of world leaders, and I hope it will be done soon.”
The prime minister also drew attention to government investment in developing Israel’s Negev city, Beersheva, into another Israeli tech hub, particularly for the military and cybersecurity sectors.
“To that end, we have tried to create in Beersheva a special environment. Now, look, I have every admiration for Tel Aviv and Herzliya and what has developed here, but we want to replicate it also in Beersheva and we’ve, I’ve made a decision to move our NSA to Ben-Gurion University. It’s literally, its headquarters is on the campus. All the people in Beersheva are now applauding, yes. We are taking our national cyber headquarters into that campus and we opened a cyber park. We call it CyberSpark, right there, and it’s all within a hundred meters. All within a hundred meters,” he said.