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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Homeland Security Monitor: April 2018

On April 12, a new report found that Israel accounted for the second-largest number of cybersecurity deals globally, behind the United States. (Photo: AP Images)

Israel Wins Second-Largest Number of Cybersecurity Deals Globally

A new report released on April 12 found that Israel accounted for the second-largest number of cybersecurity deals globally, behind the United States and ahead of the United Kingdom. Conducted by New York data firm CB Insights, the report showed that Israel accounted for seven percent of the cybersecurity global deal share in the years 2013-2017. The report chose 29 cybersecurity startups—including six from Israel—deemed “high-momentum companies pioneering technology with the potential to transform cybersecurity.”

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Treasury Department Sanctions Iranian Cyber Actors

On March 23, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 10 Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity for engaging in malicious cyber activities. “Iran is engaged in an ongoing campaign of malicious cyber activity against the United States and our allies,” stated Treasury Under Secretary Sigal Mandelker. “Treasury will continue to systematically use our sanctions authorities to shine a light on the Iranian regime’s malicious cyber practices, and hold it accountable for criminal cyber-attacks.” The sanctions were issued in conjunction with a U.S. Department of Justice criminal indictment targeting nine of the sanctioned individuals (the tenth individual was indicted in 2017). “These nine Iranian nationals allegedly stole more than 31 terabytes of documents and data from more than 140 American universities, 30 American companies, five American government agencies, and also more than 176 universities in 21 foreign countries,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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Senate Confirms New Head of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency

On April 24, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone as the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (NSA) by a voice vote. Under a “dual-hat” arrangement, Nakasone will serve as both the leader of the U.S. Cyber Command as well as the NSA. Nakosone will replace U.S. Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, who recently announced his retirement after a nearly four-year term. As the new director, Nakasone will work closely with his Israeli counterparts to develop new cybersecurity solutions. The two allies have increased cyber cooperation since the passage of the 2014 U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act.

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Israeli Tech Companies Are Setting Up Shop in New York

More than 350 startups with Israeli founders have reportedly opened up offices in New York, according to a March 28 Bloomberg report. This is a significant increase over the last five years. Additionally, three of the five largest funding rounds in New York last year were for companies run by Israelis or Israeli-Americans. With a slew of Israeli cybersecurity tech firms and commercial businesses moving to the United States, America and Israel are able to collaborate closer to home. “Seven hours’ time difference and 10 hours’ time difference might not seem like a big difference, but it is,” says Ofer Israeli, chief executive officer of cybersecurity company Illusive Networks.

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Israel at 70: The Jewish State’s National Security Remains Strong

As Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, Israel’s national security strategy has never been stronger, according to former Israeli deputy national security adviser Dr. Chuck Freilich. “Israel’s strength provides its leaders with an unprecedented window of opportunity to make some of the critical decisions it faces from a position of strength,” he wrote. Touting the U.S.-Israel relationship, he discusses how diplomacy is key to ensuring that Israel can counter mounting threats on its borders from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and more.

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Type: Homeland Security Monitor