“As the boundaries of life and cyberspace become more and more blurred, we’re becoming more vulnerable to attacks – we’re connecting ourselves to oblivion”, said Brigadier – General Eitan Eshel, head of the R&D department in MAPAT (Agency of weapons and technology infrastructure research and Development Director) in the Ministry of Defense
Eshel’s comments were made in a panel on “Israeli Cyber Innovation”, held during to the 14th Herzliya Conference that was organized in conjunction with the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop, Tel Aviv University and the National Council for Research and Development (MOLMOP) in the Ministry of Science. The panel was hosted by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Ben-Israel, chairman of the MOLMOP.
“Every year, we expose ourselves to more and more cyber attacks. We’re on the verge of life in an augmented reality : Using virtual currency like Bitcoin, the use of 3D printers and our data dependency, much of which is in the cloud. All this creates a situation in which everything is connected with everything, turning the cyberspace into a warzone.”
“Since the first computer entered our lives We have spent decades in the defense. Once it was information security, today it’s cyber defense”, added Brigadier General Eshel, “the threat boundaries have changed. The attack is easy, and done with free tools, keeping resource needs low. There is an a – symmetry between attacker and defender: it is for the former to recognize the latter’s weaknesses. Attack potential increased: threats can effect applications, operating systems and hardware. Today even visit Blow – Tech exposed to attacks. And we should always take the Human factor into consideration.”
What about the existing protection methods? Eshel has quite the detailed explanation: “We perceive cyber defense as borders: creating fences with Firewall, detection mechanisms etc., but it isn’t enough compared to the huge amount of holes. An attacker who entered will stay a long time until he is discovered.”
He went on by saying that “it is difficult to monitor all the attackers. we are constantly trying to produce honey pot traps, but the attackers are still disguised.” Therefore, he said, “to deal with this new situation, defense systems are shifting towards intelligence, with large amounts of uncertainty, while taking into account the aspect of ‘I do not know what I do not know’. The net is changing, and this requires management of a dynamic network”.
Gen. Eshel concluded by saying that “We have close cooperation with the industry. When we started three years ago, we were working with four companies – now there are more than thirty, and this figure is growing. MAPAT is in contact with all entities involved in the field, the Department of Cyber Defense in the telecommunications branch of the army, with intelligence organizations, with the industry .There is a tremendous advantage here: we get the best personnel.”