Increasingly, hackers are making headlines, whether they relate to efforts to steal state secrets or data stolen from adultery sites. But we only hear about a tiny fraction of attacks. The vast majority of hacks don’t make it to the news pages. We have no idea about the size, scale or complexity of hackers’ attempts to target Israel. We just know that there are some determined people out there, and Israel often tops their list.
That’s OK. For six decades, Israel has been under threat. This has kept Israelis sharp, focused, pragmatic and resourceful, responding to threats as and when they pop up, as well as predicting future concerns. Speaking to the country’s top cyber security experts this week, we’re reassured that this tradition is alive and well online.
What’s interesting is the move south, to the Negev, the base of some of the world’s most innovative high-tech companies, and where the IDF’s cyber soldiers are moving. For those who would do Israel harm in the online world, the fightback now starts not from Tel Aviv, but from the desert.
“It is in the Negev that the creativity and pioneer vigour of Israel shall be tested,” said Ben-Gurion. How true.