John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Jim Langevin (D-RI) traveled to Israel the first week of May to explore opportunities for expanded U.S.-Israel cooperation, particularly in the area of cybersecurity. The Congressmen, prominent leaders on issues on homeland security and cybersecurity, met with top officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, senior defense officials, the head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau and others. “We had productive discussions on best practices and strategic collaboration opportunities between our countries to combat cyber-attacks,” said Ratcliffe, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity.
On May 18, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) held its third annual U.S.-Israel Cyber Security Summit, hosted on the campus of George Washington University. The conference featured high-level participants, including Adm. Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus. The panels and keynote speakers provided an overview of global cyber challenges and the many ways the United States and Israel can continue partnering in the public and private arenas.
May 3, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas addressed the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security where he highlighted the importance of U.S.-Israel cooperation. "Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of Israel's National Cyber Bureau described the cyber space as the 3rd revolution,” remarked Mayorkas. “There was the agricultural revolution, industrial revolution, and now there's the cyber revolution…Our office of Science and Technology has just entered into an agreement with the Government of Israel to pool funding for R&D in the cybersecurity realm. This is a matter where the community is not only a public-private partnership domestically, but a public to public and private to private around the world."
University of Denver held its first Cybersecurity Summit in April, part of an initiative by Gov. John Hickenlooper to position Colorado as a national cybersecurity hub. The summit highlighted Israel as a world-leader and sought to draw from its experience in establishing its innovative cyber ecosystem. Panels featured a variety of Israeli cybersecurity experts and private sector leaders. Gov. Hickenlooper traveled to Israel in October 2015, and has since sought to model Colorado after Israel as a cybersecurity powerhouse. “Israel really is the cyber superpower in the world,” said J.B. Holston, dean of the university’s Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. “A lot of things they’re talking about, they are the kinds of things we’re trying to do at scale…There are a lot of analogies that are really helpful for us.”
concentration of top cybersecurity talent in the Negev Desert is cementing it as a major cyber power. The Jewish state’s strategy to develop the southern city of Beersheba as a cyber city has led to the creation of an advanced technology park that houses entities ranging from “cyber firm incubators” to global companies—including PayPal, Lockheed Martin and Deutsche Telekom—to new headquarters for the military’s elite cyber units. “No other country is so purposefully integrating its private, scholarly, government and military cyber expertise,” writes the Washington Post.
Through such integration, Israel is successfully defending itself against thousands of daily cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, while also building a world-leading commercial cyber sector.