We Can Learn A lot From The Israeli Cyber Mentality

By Alex Sorin,  Safe City Solutions 

recent article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz analyzed a suspected cyber attack that targeted the country's largest cell phone provider Pelephone, paralyzing the service for a period of time.  The company has not officially stated if the delay in service was the result of a cyber attack or not.  The article went on to discuss that despite Israel's considerable cyber defenses for national security and critical infrastructure, the country is still vulnerable to attacks on soft targets that could affect the daily lives of ordinary citizens.  The author provided a useful graphic, pasted below, that illustrates the vulnerable civilian sectors.

American citizens can learn a lot from the Israeli approach to cyber security.  Israeli awareness to cyber threats is much greater than that of the average American, perhaps because Israelis do not separate cyber security and national security into two different realms, as seems to be the case in the U.S.  This is evident from the constant barrage of mobile device cyber security commercials, ironically made by the Pelephone company, which are broadcast on Israeli TV.  Israeli's realize that talk of cyber security doesn't just pertain to attacks on electric grids and the defense establishment, but also to their ability to freely and securely use cell phones, the Internet, e commerce and mobile banking.  Recent attacks on U.S. banking institutions and social media platforms such as Twitter demonstrate the convergence of cyber attacks on the lives of ordinary people.  

Below is the graphic published in the article and a translated version of the lists that illustrate Israeli sectors that are still vulnerable compared to those of the security, transportation and infrastructure sectors.  These lists are relevant to US cyber security and represent areas that Americans should associate more with personal and cyber security threats.

Vulnerable Networks

Picture Published by Haaretz

Picture Published by Haaretz

  • Private Banking
  • Internet Providers
  • Cell Phone Companies
  • E Commerce Shopping Websites
  • Commercial Companies
  • Personal Computers
  • Mobile Devices

Relatively Protected Networks

  • The Bank of Israel
  • Security Establishment
  • Electric Infrastructure
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Government Power Facilities
  • The National Train System