Gantz: ‘Israel’s cyber strategy critical for national security’

“Cyber experts are becoming increasingly essential to the battlefield,” said Defense Minister Gantz.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke at the 11th annual Cyber Week conference on Tuesday, and said that Israel’s cyber intelligence efforts are critical for maintaining the nation’s qualitative military edge.

Briefly mentioning two rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel overnight Monday, Gantz warned that “every security threat will be met with an iron fist with the very same hand that was extended in peace,” and called upon the international community to restore stability to Israel’s northern neighbor.

“I stand before you to discuss Israel as a cyber superpower. Just as in many other areas, we have achieved this status out of a need. Need is the fuel for innovation,” he said.

“Thanks to the exceptional collaboration between the…IDF, Mossad, and the National Cyber Directorate…[we] cope with threats and protect our national infrastructure and interest. They all form a defensive shield against anyone who seeks to harm us in the cyber domain.”

Gantz described the combined efforts of the agencies as a “cyber Iron Dome,” adding that “our cyber experts are becoming increasingly essential to the battlefield. They see all but remain unseen.”

He said that in recent years, Israel has been the victim of numerous cyberattacks perpetrated by Iran and its proxies, but the country “has been resilient and demonstrated its qualitative military edge.”

Referencing the recent reports that Israeli spyware company NSO Group had licensed its solution to governments which used the technology for human rights abuses, Gantz said that the Jewish State respects civil liberties and press freedom.

“Israel is a liberal, Western democracy that controls export of cyber products and complies with international export regulations,” said Gantz.

“As a matter of policy, the State of Israel authorizes the export of cyber products solely to governments, only for lawful use, exclusively for use in preventing crime and terrorism. All exporters] must abide by these agreements.”

“We are currently studying the information published on this subject.”