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PRIME MINISTER NAFTALI BENNETT

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the annual Cyber Week conference at Tel Aviv University, on July 21, 2021. 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on Wednesday for the creation of a “global defense shield” against cyberattacks.

Speaking at the annual Cyber Week conference at Tel Aviv University, Bennet said, “We have already signed agreements with a dozen countries—instead of each country or company being alone the defense will be integrated. We invite good countries to join us in this initiative,” according to Calcalist.

Israel decided an international effort was needed after reaching the conclusion that recent threats to cyber security were too great for any one country to handle alone, according to the report.

Just prior to Bennett’s address, Yigal Unna, director general of the Israel National Cyber Directorate, presented statistics regarding cyber attacks during the past year, according to which one in five Israeli businesses suffered an online attack in 2020. About 47 percent of Israeli high-tech companies were attacked last year as well. The high numbers are not unique to Israel, and were spurred in part by the coronavirus pandemic which led to a jump in cybercrime, according to Calcalist.

“Everything is under attack. Why is that? Because it’s easy,” said Bennett. “If you want to attack, the best, easiest and cheapest method is through cyberattack. That is why it will increase as time goes on. I believe cyberattacks have become one of the significant threats to world peace,” he added.

The prime minister also spoke of establishing a cyber center in Beer Sheba.

“For every $100 invested in cyber, $41 is invested in Israeli cyber,” he said.

Cyber Week 2021 runs from July 19 through July 22.

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