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State comptroller warns that leading Israeli institutions have inadequate cybersecurity infrastructures

Illustrative image (Photo: Shutterstock)

Israel’s cybersecurity infrastructure is vulnerable with numerous shortcomings, warned State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman in a new special report released on Tuesday.

Internationally known as the Start-Up Nation, Israel has emerged as one of the world’s leading centers for innovation and technology. The Jewish state has also become one of the leading countries in the cybersecurity sector.

However, it appears that many leading Israeli institutions allegedly have inadequate cybersecurity infrastructures.

Among them, Ben-Gurion International Airport outside of Tel Aviv, Israel’s main gateway to the outside world. Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority has an inadequate border security protocol which has reportedly failed to stop terrorists and criminals both from entering and leaving Israel through the main airport.

The situation is further aggravated by the fact that almost half (45%) of all Israeli ID cardholders are still in using a non-biometric version, which is vulnerable to forgeries and about 37% of all citizens still use non-biometric passports, which criminals can falsify relatively easily.

Other institutions at risk of a cybersecurity breach are Israel’s National Insurance Institute (the equivalent of U.S. Social Security), hospitals and universities

Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (INCD) in 2022 reportedly stopped more than 1,000 major cyber attacks that could have potentially caused widespread and substantial damage to Israel’s economy.

“The general public is most of the time unaware of the attacks that have been stopped. Our job is to prevent those attacks that, if successful, would result in millions of damages to the economy and the country. Our efforts often happen behind the scenes,” said INCD Dir.-Gen. Gabi Portnoy in February during the Cybertech Global 2023 conference in Tel Aviv.

While cybersecurity has become a major challenge for much of the world, Israel and Iran have reportedly engaged in increasingly sophisticated cyber warfare against each other, while Israel has been facing an increase in the number of attacks by Iran-affiliated hackers.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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