1,500 participants came to hear about developments in information security at the CyberTech 2014 conference today and tomorrow. The most prominent, although in view of his recent remarks at Davos, predictable participant, is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who does not usually attend even more prestigious high-tech conferences. Netanyahu spoke at length on the challenges of the times and the risks that the cyber world brings with it, and shared a private experience as a student at MIT with the audience.
"Decision-makers should meet and set up a kind of UN of the Internet," said Netanyahu. "We need a coalition of leading companies with capabilities in this world. This is the best thing that we can do to deal with the challenges. In my opinion, Israel is a leader in this field. We decided to concentrate these skills and establish a consortium of our security agencies, research institutes, and businesses. We think we can turn the curse of the Internet into a blessing, because we all need it."
Netanyahu continued, "We set up a special organization, a cyber headquarters, to see how it is possible to combine these capabilities with others. We decided to lower the restrictions because we're betting on the growth of these partnerships and higher profits for both us and for the participating companies. This will spur the growth of hundreds of cyber companies, most of which did not exist a few years ago, and were founded by investments in the sector and with the cooperation of large foreign players. These are developments that can be expanded, and we want to ensure that it will be on a large scale. We see this as cooperation between the government and businesses, and we're committed to this in the years ahead.
"I remember from my studies at MIT, when I lived on campus and opposite me was a large and ugly warehouse. I asked, 'What is that?' I was told that it was connected to the US government, the CIA or the NSA, and that was the first time that I heard those words. The government concentrated its best efforts in data at the heart of the university, and allowed it to expand on the business side. That is exactly what we're trying to do in Beersheva.
"We've moved army units to the south, provided trains that arrive at the heart of the campus, so there is a university, industrial park, and the army, too. This is a great thing that reflects our vision to develop Israel with your help. This is something that we all want to see, a cyber world that is open, free, and prosperous in which everyone participates. When you think about cyber, you'll think about Israel."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 27, 2014
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