The secrets of the Israel's cybersecurity industry success

(To Maria Grazia Labellarte)
04/11/19

The State of Israel is increasing its role in the world of defense against virtual threats, but absolutely dangerous as physical ones.

Here is our interview to Uri Ben Yaacov starts, Lt. Col. (Res.), Who is the Director of Development and a Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT). In addition, he serves as a lecturer at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy in the field of Open Source Intelligence, Simulations and Laws and Terrorism.

Can you tell us where the secret of your country cybersecurity industry success lies, as is one of the most advanced in the world?

Israel is under threat, both in the physical world as well as in the cyber one and these threats are considered national security issues. This puts Israel in deep for advanced technologies, to be used in both real and cyber one.

"War between the wars" as many prefer to call it. It is a war between new technologies and the international community judging him on taken actions. In a situation where a player can be a man "army", a real state would not be seen in the real world. Such a player can also be a proxy used by a state actor.

The Israeli state is deeply involved in new technologies development, both in the government sector as well as in the private one. The cyber domain in particular:

STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses. State education and training in schools, encouraging students of different ages, especially girls, to learn and as many as possible.

Those students have the opportunity to work with many companies that are operating in this field. Part of those companies are being assisted by Government supported Green Houses (via The Israel Innovation Authority or others) or different Private Equities.

We often read about Israeli investments in the sector, cyber security company start-ups: How does the government organize its support to the most promising start-up? How does it identify them? How does it promote cyber - innovation?

Understanding of the safety of Israel is of the generation of the future. Thus, the state's involvement starts in the education system in schools, encouraging students of different ages, especially girls, to enroll in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematic) courses. The Government has made these subjects (especially Math) a priority if it wants to maintain its high-tech edge.

Organizations such as the Israeli Advanced Technologies Industries work together with Government ministries, High-tech companies, Education NGO's to promote STEM education in Israel and connect the different stake holders.

The "Israeli Innovation Authority" is an independent publicly funded agency addressing the most developing innovative ecosystems of businesses. This is supposed to serve the innovative technologies of the early stage of entrepreneurship, up to the international marketing and manufacturing stage. Starting with the business plan, the products development and moving into the international market.

"AI is always more in the cyber world", to speed up the analysis of huge amounts of data, and to remove humankind from repetitive and alienating tasks. Isn't there the risk of taking too many complex skills to manage tools in the company?

Everything runs a risk. The outreach to the benefits when moving forward with new technologies. The key to the decision making process.

How does Artificial Intelligence relate to Ethics and how should we compare with Artificial Intelligences? What are the risks associated with the coexistence of human beings and AI? There are nations, such as Estonia for example, beginning to think about it seriously, what is your opinion about?

The field of artificial intelligence is very interesting, exciting and filled with many new opportunities. However, we continue to make progress in the field of computers and security. AI might be quicker at processing larger amounts of data but can't make emotional-ethical-moral decisions. The loss of morality in decision making in every aspect, and thus pushing the ethical envelope as we continue to advance this technology.

Military around the world is adapting AI technology with robotics to create new weapons systems and or soldiers. At what point will a computer decide when to shoot or not, to make emotional ethical moral decisions on the battle field? The risks are to allow computers and computers to overtake every aspect of life and automating it, taking the human aspect out. We run the risk of losing our morality and ethical decision-making process. I think a country like Estonia that is so interconnected runs many risks if it does not think about it. Show the world, and pioneer. Falling into the wrong hands.

The cyber dimension is used to support Intelligence, both for military and industrial purposes. What are the relationships between the two disciplines?

The cyber dimension allows for interconnectivity like never before, between people, products, and across all types of platforms. Cyber ​​capabilities support you to get one step ahead of your competition in the industry or the military you need to have better intelligence. So, the support of cyber technologies is crucial. Now we are seeing how private companies and industry are creating new cyber tools that they want more the military. So, the relationship between industry and military is deepening.

Photo: IDF / Milrem Robotics