Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday announced plans for the formation of a new initiative on international cybersecurity.
Speaking at the Cyber Week conference at Tel Aviv University, Bennett called on other nations to join Israel in this enterprise.
“We are establishing a global cyber shield with the aim of uniting and combining forces and resources,” the prime minister said.
Bennett stressed the need for many nations to band together in the new initiative, saying that, “if we fight alone – we will lose, but if we fight together – we will win.”
The prime minister warned that today all industries are vulnerable to cyber attacks, including a nation’s water supply, electricity, food, aircraft and cars.
He said that such attacks were easy to perpetrate and said he was “worried” that such threats would only grow exponentially. These attacks, he said, were currently the greatest threat to both security of individual nations and of the world as a whole.
According to Bennett, the people best equipped to deal with this kind of threat can be found in the private sector, specifically in Israel where serving in the IDF can mean extensive experience in cyber intelligence.
The prime minister described Israel's national authority against cyber terror, which works in conjunction with private sector firms to protect the nation’s interests.
"This is one of the biggest threats to national security and the world at large," Bennett said. "We need the forces of the private market, combined with the power of a government.
"In Israel, we have very smart people who do their military service in the field of intelligence at a very young age, and are 'thrown' into Israeli society at a young age with enormous abilities," he said.
“This is Israel’s secret, to get a group of really smart people and have them work together… Let all of these people come together and create this fusion,” he said.
Bennett pointed out that 41% of all funds invested in cyber tech worldwide has gone to firms in Israel.
“Spreading ideas rather than concentrating them in one place is one of Israel’s significant strengths,” the prime minister said.
Bennett himself made millions from the sale of his own high-tech company Cyota, which specializes in online information security.