Analytics
8/30/2016
01:00 PM
Sara Peters
Sara Peters
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Meet Some Of The Emerging Israeli Cybersecurity Firms

Many are borne out of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Israel Defense Force's Cyber Intelligence Unit 8200. Could any other nation keep up?
Previous
1 of 38
Next

If it seems to you like a hot new cybersecurity company springs out of Israel every week, you're not far off. Israel is now the world's second-largest exporter of cybersecurity products and services--second only to the US--with exports that grew from $3 billion to $6 billion in just a few years. The secret to its success: military experience. While the technology varies, many if not most of the newest companies have one thing in common: they were founded by veterans of the Israel Defense Force's (IDF) elite cyberintelligence Unit 8200.

"Last year, there were 16 Israeli companies on the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world's hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. This year there are 26, and we are expecting more in 2017," says Steve Morgan, founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures. "VC firms and corporate investors have put around a half-billion dollars into Israel cybersecurity startups over the past few years."

Israel's main cybersecurity market is the US, according to Morgan. Many have offices, even corporate headquarters, in the US.

"With regards to Silicon Valley, that is a favorite spot for Israeli cyber firms to set up U.S. offices due to its proximity to [venture capital] firms who invest into cybersecurity startups," says Morgan. "Sand Hill Road is the Wall Street of cyber-funding and the Israeli company founders are smart enough to know the value of being there."

Regardless of where corporate HQ is, most of these companies' R&D operations remain firmly in Israel.

"Israel is the place where you can hire people who 'get' the problem," says Lior Div, CEO and co-founder of Israeli start-up Cybereason. "They add value almost from day 1." 

Why do they "get it"? Military experience.

Div says the secret to the recent boom in Israeli cybersecurity companies is a combination of both a change in the market and the nature of Israel and Unit 8200, which he linked together. Div himself won an IDF Medal of Honor for outstanding achievements as a commander of a cybersecurity team in the 8200.

Div says the market changed in 2010 when Stuxnet awoke people to what cyberattacks could truly achieve. "It's kind of a war. Some people say when I use the word 'war' that it's too much. If you really understand what's going on out there, it's not too much.'"

"You needed people with a different mindset," he says. "People who were actually creating the problem, if I may." In other words, cyberdefense experts who have offensive hacking skills as well.  

Representatives from several other Israel-based companies say military experience -- and Unit 8200 specifically -- in a post-Stuxnet age have played a significant role in the boom of Israeli start-ups, as well as other attributes and skillsets.

Maya Schirmann of DeepInstinct mentions the support of earlier giants in the industry that were founded in Check Point, founded by three ex-8200 members, and CyberArk. (In fact, one of Check Point's co-founders, Shlomo Kramer, has been on a spree, co-founding or funding several of the newest companies to come out of the country as well.) 

Schirmann and Guy Nizan, co-founder of IntSights, both note that the innovation is a function of necessity. Nizan says "our country is under continuous cyberattacks that force us to invest and develop new and innovative technologies to protect ourselves."

Here is a rundown of 37 cybersecurity companies that have sprung out of Israel in just the past four years.

 

Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 38
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
whalexander13
50%
50%
whalexander13,
User Rank: Author
9/8/2016 | 10:30:36 AM
Cybersecurity and the U.S. miltary
Do we see the same link between the military and cybersecurity comapnies in the U.S.? If not, why?
whalexander13
50%
50%
whalexander13,
User Rank: Author
9/8/2016 | 10:29:13 AM
Military and Cybersecurity in the U.S.
The link between the military and Israeli cybersecurity firms is fascinating. Do we see the same link the United States? If not, why?
chibo
50%
50%
chibo,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/6/2016 | 4:01:16 PM
Re: No surprise
Nice list .. I know couple of the founders. Worth checking also our company www.cyber-observer.com which is bringing a new simple way to the CISO to manage their cyber eco-system .. Haim Chibotero Director of professional services
JulietteRizkallah
50%
50%
JulietteRizkallah,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2016 | 2:23:29 PM
No surprise
If you have worked for or with an Israeli security company, you will not be surprised by the number of Cybersecurity firms emerging annually from Israel.  With a country under constant attack, Israelis have master the ability to use all skills to defend themselves and have been the first one to embrace cyberdefense - and offense-.  Many founders bring their military training to their new venture, but the level of innovation is just extraordinary in a country that never finds itself complacent no matter what level they achieve.
Printers: The Weak Link in Enterprise Security
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  10/16/2017
20 Questions to Ask Yourself before Giving a Security Conference Talk
Joshua Goldfarb, Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, IDDRA,  10/16/2017
Why Security Leaders Can't Afford to Be Just 'Left-Brained'
Bill Bradley, SVP, Cyber Engineering and Technical Services, CenturyLink,  10/17/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
[Strategic Security Report] Assessing Cybersecurity Risk
As cyber attackers become more sophisticated and enterprise defenses become more complex, many enterprises are faced with a complicated question: what is the risk of an IT security breach? This report delivers insight on how today's enterprises evaluate the risks they face. This report also offers a look at security professionals' concerns about a wide variety of threats, including cloud security, mobile security, and the Internet of Things.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.