Israeli cybersecurity expertise keeps computer hackers at bay.  (Photo by Sliman Khader/FLASH90)

Israeli cybersecurity expertise keeps computer hackers at bay. (Photo by Sliman Khader/FLASH90)

Leading international cyber experts, policymakers, researchers, security officials, and diplomats are in Tel Aviv this week for the Fifth Annual International Cybersecurity Conference. The meeting is part of the National Cyber Week 2015 yearly event.

Israel is known as a center of excellence for cybersecurity thanks to its defence expertise and technological prowess. In 2014, Israel exported more than $6 billion in cybersecurity products, roughly doubling the total of the previous year.

“We have established two government resolutions: One is to create the national cyber security authority, and the second is the decision to create the IDF cyber forces,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the conference.

“The greatest threat comes from governments, specifically Iran,” said Netanyahu. “We are determined to protect ourselves by using a combination of government, military, academia and business. We are moving ahead and committed to stay ahead. ”

The June 22-25 conference — held jointly this year by the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security, the National Cyber Bureau, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC) and Tel Aviv University — includes workshops, lectures and discussions on methods and ideas concerning evolving cyber technologies

Among the guests taking part are Maureen Ohlausen, Commissioner of the US Federal Trade Commission; Internationally renowned security technologist, Bruce Scheier; Former Cyber Advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush/former CSO at Microsoft Howard Schmidt; as well as other global and domestic leaders from the political, military, technology, economic and academic arenas.

Participating Israeli technology and cybersecurity firms include Check Point, EMC, IBM, Intel Security, Lockheed International, Microsoft Cloud, Enterprise Security, Qualcomm, Team 8, Verint, and more.

Netanyahu also spoke about the efforts to cultivate a professional cyber-community in Israel’s south, saying that, “in Beersheva, we decided to place our own NSA … right next to the University to have there our national cyber headquarters and a new cyber park, which is expanding with many firms joining it. In a small place the culture can grow and thrive.”

US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro spoke about the importance of US Israel cooperation on cyber security issues.

“We’re working also work with other countries to help us combat cyber crime,” said Shapiro. “I expect the US and Israel to continue working together to support global economic prosperity.”