Security

Why Israel is investing $24M in its cybersecurity industry

The Israeli government just launched a three-year program to boost investments in cybersecurity companies.

On Wednesday, Israel announced that it would be investing 90 million shekels ($24 million) in its cybersecurity industry, according to Reuters.

As reported by the Times of Israel, Israel is largely regarded as the second biggest cybersecurity market in the world, winning 16% of all cybersecurity investments made around the globe. With the new investment, the Israeli government could help bolster its position as a cybersecurity leader and continue to make the country an attractive place for security startups.

According to the Reuters report, the money is coming as part of a three-year program targeting companies that are dealing with R&D around high-risk activities. These companies will be able to receive up to 5 million shekels, or $1.36 million, per year, the report said.

SEE: Information security policy (Tech Pro Research)

Aharon Aharon, head of the Israel Innovation Authority, told Reuters that the program hopes to give security companies a place to test their technologies, while also helping bring their products to the global market more quickly and achieve better market penetration.

A big part of Israel's cyber industry is startups. As the Times of Israel reported, some 70 security startups were founded in 2017 alone. Israel is still far behind the US in terms of its startup deal share, but Israeli firms like BioCatch, Aqua Security, IRONSCALES, and D-ID have been recently making headlines.

Another aspect that plays into Israel's security ecosystem is the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Because of the IDF's central role in Israel, and the country's conscription policy, there are many citizens coming out of the military that choose to put their newfound intelligence to work by building a security startup. The IDF's Unit 8200 has also served as somewhat of a startup accelerator and incubator as well.

The Israeli government, as seen with this investment, is also a major catalyst for new cyber businesses in the country. However, schools like the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev also play a major role in the perception of Israel as a security powerhouse, constantly releasing new security research in growing industries.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Israel is investing $24 million over three years as part of an investment in its cybersecurity industry.
  • Israel is the no. 2 country in the world in terms of cybersecurity deal investments, trailing the US.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Golden_Brown

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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