Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with global cyber industry leaders at the 2016 World Economic Conference in Davos.

Cyber defense was the number one item on the agenda at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting Thursday with top officials from Sony, Hitachi, Lenovo, Intel, IBM and Hewlett Packard at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Participants discussed cyber threats and their implications on the development and assimilation of innovative technologies.

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The talk focused on the economic, social and strategic risks posed by these threats.

Also discussed was the cooperation required between government and business in order to use the cyber revolution for the benefit of global social welfare and economic growth.

Netanyahu emphasized that the rapid development of cyber is creating unprecedented opportunities for human society and the global economy.

He said, “Cyber has substantially changed basic elements of our lives both as individuals and nations. “In the new age, it is cyber defense that makes the future possible and constitutes a precondition for growth and security.” As a result, he said, Israel has set for itself the goal of becoming a cyber power as a top priority.

The Jewish State intends to become a “global cyber greenhouse,” Netanyahu said, “in which the spirit of innovation and technological assets create pioneering strategies and solutions for Israel and the world.”

Israel is carrying out various improvements in order to reduce the organizations’ vulnerability to cyber threats, he noted.

The country’s newly-established national cyber defense authority is working with the private sector on an ongoing basis even as it leverages the capabilities and know-how of the defense establishment, he pointed out.

Israeli cyber industry exports for 2015 stand at approximately $3.5 billion, Netanyahu said – around five percent of the $75 billion global market. Solely in products, Israel’s share is approximately seven percent. Private investments last year are estimated at $500 million, more than double the figure for 2014. Esimates on global private investments have yet to be issued. As of the first half of 2015, Israel’s share was almost 20 percent, second only to the United States. It is not expected that this will change significantly vis-à-vis for the entire year, Netanyahu said. Mergers and acquisitions for 2015 are estimated at $1.3 billion, almost double the figure for 2014.

The company leaders expressed appreciation for Israel’s cyber activity; Prime Minister Netanyahu invited them to invest in Israel and join the cyber companies that are already in Israel. Prime Minister’s Office Director General Eli Groner, Israel National Cyber Bureau (INCB) Head Dr. Eviatar Matania and National Economic Council Chairman Prof. Avi Simhon also participated in the meeting.

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