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Israel Claims Surge in Cyber Sales, Investment

January 21, 2016 (Photo Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli exports of cyber-related products and services in 2015 are an estimated $3.5 billion, about $500 million more than 2014 figures and more than all other nations combined apart from the United States, the government announced Thursday.

According to a Jan. 21 statement released from Jerusalem, year-end 2015 export sales accounts for about 5 percent of the global cyber market.

“Based on all accepted estimates, the global market for cyber is about $75 billion, which points to an Israeli share of the market of some 5 percent. And if we look at the market for products only, Israel’s share is estimated at 7 percent,” the government statement said.

As for private investment, the government claims the Israeli cyber sector attracted $500 million in 2015, a doubling from the previous year. 

It noted that official 2015 year-end figures for private investment worldwide have not yet been published, but that as of the first half of last year, investment in Israel constituted about 20 percent of worldwide spending, second only to the US market. “We don’t anticipate this changing significantly in terms of yearly investment.”

In terms of mergers and acquisitions, the government claims business value in excess of $1.3 billion, nearly double 2014 levels.

The government noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with leaders of the global cyber community, including Meg Whitman, president and chief executive of Hewlett Packard and UBER co-founder and chief executive Travis Kalanisck

Netanyahu cited Hewlett Packard’s intention to expand activity in Israel, where the company currently employs more than 5,000 employees.

On Thursday, Netanyahu met with representatives from IBM, Sony, Hitachi, Lenovo and Intel, according to the statement.

Netanyahu has made it a personal and national goal to elevate Israel’s status as a global cyber power. Since he established the National Cyber Bureau in 2011, his government has augmented annual cyber defense spending and invested hundreds of millions of shekels on infrastructure aimed at building a “global cyber hub for innovation” in Israel’s southern desert city of Beersheba.

The effort involves relocation of national labs, military intelligence units and C4I organizations, a new National Cyber Command, a new industrial park co-located with Beersheba’s Ben Gurion university and a high-speed train connecting it all from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Netanyahu’s office has also directed the government’s chief scientist, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and other agencies to serve as “angels” and incubators to nurture and assist start up firms.

Next week, Israel Defense will host its annual CyberTech international conference, with active support from all Israeli government agencies from the Prime Minister’s Office on down. More than 1000 government, industry and academic participants are scheduled to convene in Tel Aviv for the major event, which will feature Netanyahu and leaders of the Israeli and international cyber sectors.


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