Israel hosts OECD's annual cyber conference for first time 

The three-day online conference whose theme is "Local challenges, global solutions" started today. The secretary general of the organization said the vulnerability most exploited by cyberattackers is lack of cooperation  

Screenshot from the conference. Clockwise from R to L: moderator Audrey Plonk, Head of the Digital Economy Policy Division of the OECD; Mathias Cormann, OECD Secretary General; Yigal Unna, Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate; and Haim Assaraf, Israel's ambassador to the OECD.     

The OECD kicked off its annual cyber conference yesterday (Monday) - with Israel as the host for the first time. The three-day online event, titled "Local Challenges, Global Solutions", is a hub for multinational cooperation in the field of cyber defense.    

Some 40 international speakers are participating in the event, which is divided into eight sessions that will deal with international cooperation in cyber, supply chain security, cyber insurance, government digitalization processes, standardization of digital security, and more.

Among the leading speakers will be Bushra AlBlooshi, head of Research and Innovation at the Dubai Electronic Security Center; Rajesh Pant, national cybersecurity coordinator for the government of India; FireEye CEO, John Watters; Brandon Wales, acting director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; and American cybersecurity expert Tarah Wheeler.                 

Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD, launched the conference and noted that while the digital acceleration of the past year presents exciting opportunities, there are also great challenges and risks involved, especially in the areas of cyber defense and privacy.

Cormann stated that better ways of managing these challenges must be found, and emphasized the importance of cooperation in the field of cyber defense. Too often, responses to attacks remain local although the attacks are of global nature, so the more we cooperate with one another, the more we will be immune, he said, adding that the most exploited vulnerability is the lack of cooperation.      

Similar comments were made by Yigal Unna, Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate, who said that during the past year we learned that pandemics have implications for everyone, be it biological pandemics such as COVID-19, or a cyber pandemic.

While Israel is nearing the end of the former pandemic, the latter is only getting worse, according to Unna, who added is is drawing from his 32 years of experience in the field to assert that it is not possible to deal with cyber security alone, but only as part of a community.      

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