Digital World Makes Cyberwarfare More Dangerous
Your car, your refrigerator, your cellphone, and your laptop are just a few potential targets of cyberwarfare. As our world becomes increasingly digital, it is also potentially more dangerous.
“Everything is more connected – even your car is online,” Tali Shimer, the marketing manager for ThetaRay, a company that specializes in solutions to online financial risk told The Media Line. “Hackers are also becoming more sophisticated.”
Shimer was speaking from her booth at CyberWeek 2016 at Tel Aviv University, a week-long conference that brings together world leaders in cybersecurity and companies marketing new products.
Israel has long been one of the world’s centers for cybersecurity, a need that is growing as “the internet of things”, meaning connecting devices over the internet, is growing rapidly.
“We have the traditional threats in terms of the old school information security,” Tomer Zuker, the marketing manager of IBM in Israel told The Media Line. “The newcomers are mainly the cloud and mobile phones. It’s huge because people use their cellphone for personal use and work. We are working to secure infrastructures and sensors.”
While IBM has a global workforce of 11,000 people, and Israel houses one of its main R and D centers, cybersecurity is a global problem. In Singapore, for example, the government has now made it impossible for most government employees to search the internet directly from their computers at work.
“We are a prime target for cyber criminals and we have a responsibility to protect data,” David Koh, the chief executive of the cybersecurity agency I the Prime Minister’s office in Singapore told the conference. “The chain is only as strong as the weakest link. If one link is hit, many systems could collapse.”
Last year, hackers infiltrated into the power grid in Ukraine in what is believed to be the first attack on a power grid, leaving more than 230,000 Ukrainians without heat or power for up to six hours.
The growing cyber threat has led to new ties between states. Israel and the US signed a cyber defense treaty calling for real-time operational connectivity. Both countries will set up Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTS).
“The declaration expresses the critical importance of joining forces between countries for the benefit for dealing effectively with common threats in the cyber domain,” a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said. “It expresses the obligations of Israel and the US to broaden and deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of cyber defense.”
At the ThetaRay booth, they say they have solutions to financial cyber attacks.
“We identify risks, threats and even opportunities,” marketing manager Shimer said. “We have an analytics platform that have been developed over the past ten years and that can cope with huge amounts of data.”
Israel has recently opened a large cyber tech park in the southern city of Beersheba. Among the international companies operating there are Lockheed Martin. Many Israeli experts say the openness and interconnectedness of the internet make it hard to secure.
“The current security solutions cannot cope with an advanced attack,” Yuval Elovici, the director of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories at Ben Gurion University told The Media Line. “Every advanced attackers will build a lab and put all of the security solutions inside. The challenge is how to build a security solution so that the attacker does not even know it is there.”