PM Bennett: We are establishing a global cyber shield to combine forces and resources

"If you try to fight alone, you're gonna lose. If you fight together, you're gonna win," the prime minister said during the annual Cyber Week event taking place at Tel Aviv University      

Photo: Chen Galili, Tel Aviv University Cyber Week

"Everything is under attack. Our water, our electricity, our food, our airplanes, our cars. Everything is vulnerable and everything is under attack," said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday, adding that if a bad country wants to attack another country, "today the best ROI is a cyberattack. You just need a brain, knowledge, experience, and an internet line." 

"Today the best bang for your buck is a cyberattack, and it’s just going to grow exponentially," he said, "and that makes me worried.  As prime minister of Israel, I view this as one of the top threats of national security, and I think that the cyberattacks across the world are one of the top global threats of the world itself." 

"What we've got in Israel is a bunch of really smart people who at a very young age enter the military, military intelligence, assume huge responsibilities, take charge at the age of 20, 21, could be in combat units or cyber units, but ultimately they are thrown into Israeli society at a young age with huge capabilities. And that's why we're seeing the boom, the hi-tech boom," he said. "But that's the secret of Israel. Getting a bunch of different people sitting together." 

"Innovation is something you can't command, you can't force, you can't direct," he said. "All we can do is allow it to happen. All we can do is to allow all these folks to get together and to create this fusion."     

"Of every $100 invested in cyber defense across the world, $41 of those were invested in Israeli cyber defense firms," he said. "By doing this, by spreading innovation, by spreading the ideas, by not concentrating it in one place, we're assured that there's a bunch of brains out there working hard to close another loophole, create another patch and solve another problem."

"I think we were the first in the world, we created one national cyber agency, a one-stop shop whose responsibility is defend all critical infrastructure in Israel - electricity, water facilities, etc. - but that same agency is also responsible for the private sector. That's not to say that we're in charge of every company's security software, etc., everybody has to take responsibility. But they have a phone to call. They have someone they can call up, ask, investigate, share information." 

"When one of those bad countries out there is attacking one of our companies, we want everyone else to know. Imagine you're on a bus, a very crowded bus. And there's a pickpocket who is trying to steal your wallet. Well, there's one option, you can be silent, and that same pickpocket will go on to the next guy and try to pickpocket him, and the next guy. Or, what if you took out red spray and sprayed his face with red, and you said 'here's a criminal'. And everyone says oh, there's a criminal, everyone can then defend themselves." 

"The national cyber agency is that spray and that megaphone that tells everyone 'here's the bad guy'. This agency also works on an ongoing basis with all our defense agencies, the Mossad, the Shin Bet, Unit 8200," he said. "And now the big news is we're going global. The same national network that is working so well at the national level, we're opening up, announcing the global cybernet shield where we're using the very same principles of connectivity because the main thing is if you try to fight alone, you're gonna lose. If you fight together, you're gonna win."     

"Let's say Iran, just an example, is attacking a water facility in Belgium at 10:35pm. Well, that water facility is seeing thousands of signals every minute and this malicious signal is just one among others. It's going to be very difficult to detect that this signal is a bad guy signal if you're alone. But usually the bad guys and the bad nations work on multiple attacks," he said. "So let's say they're attacking a Chile water facility a minute later and an Indian water facility three minutes later. If they all share information on the modus operandi - how are they doing it, where is it coming from - immediately you can differentiate between the good signals, which are noise, and the bad guys. And that's the idea of the network. And then, in real time, you can alert, you can investigate together, with joint resources, you can quickly develop the vaccine, and within minutes disperse that very vaccine to all the countries who are part of this network."    

"We're already in touch and we've already signed MOUs with dozens of countries, but we're bringing it to the next level of online, real time defense. A global network shield, think about that," he said. "And today, we invite all like-minded, good countries across the world, good nations to join forces in the global cyber defense shield." 

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