Organizers of CyTaka, the world cyber championship, recently held a unique cyber competition in the Negev, which simulated a real cyber-attack. The competition included a red (attacking) team and a blue (defensive) team.
The competition was held for two days and took place at the Sherman’s Hotel at Sde Boker School. The “attacking” team was based in the CyTaka offices in Herzliya, while the “defense” team was stationed in the Negev.
The competition included the innovative product “CyTaka-Cube” which randomly and anonymously attacked the two groups. (both the “blue defense” and the “red attack” versions will be available outside of Israel only with the approval of the Israel Export Institute and the State of Israel).
At the competition’s opening ceremony, Yigal Unna, former Director-General of the National Cyber Directorate, emphasized the importance of Cyber in a country such as Israel. “I am three months out of the position as head of Cyber Directorate and have held this position for four years, but in total – It’s been 33 years since I entered this field called Cyber,” shared Unna.
“We used to call it by different names, but it has not changed. Doron Amir, CEO of CyTaka, described it perfectly: ‘Constant Action.’ In the arenas of information and computer systems – 33 years later and this bug has not settled down or disappeared, on the contrary. That is why I’m so happy for the opportunity to join you here and see the enthusiasm around.
“We are located a few hundred meters away from Ben-Gurion’s grave, who is basically the Co-Founder of the State of Israel. We are all a part of a huge cyber powerhouse. If only Ben-Gurion would have lived a few more years – to see Israel’s cyber force in all its greatness”.
The World is Watching
“One has to remember: there is no such thing as cyber defense, there is no such thing as a cyber-attack: Red team, Blue team – it is one team,” Unna adds. “There are shifts and a division of roles and tasks, but in the end, it is the same way of thinking: how the attackers can penetrate and how can we outsmart them, and be better – this is the true meaning of power and superiority, and what sets Israel apart from the rest of the world. We live in a daily existential struggle, in the cyber world; it could be a great advantage.
“We must not forget: we are part of a much larger thing called the Israeli Cyber Powerhouse. Competitiveness is not a bad thing, on the contrary: it is what strengthens us. Trust me, the whole world is watching, learning, and wants to be like us. We will continue to get better – thanks to you”.
The Importance of the Younger Generation
At the end of the competition, former Israeli Chief of the General Staff Gadi Eizenkot has spoken and presented the winning team with the award in the name of the former head of the Mossad, the late Major General Meir Dagan. “The fact that the State of Israel is perceived around the world as a start-up nation, with very high capabilities in this field, gives the IDF huge advantages, both in the way it operates, in its effectiveness, and in the world’s desire to cooperate with the State of Israel”, Eizenkot explained.
“It has a place in the world and is reflected in everyone who takes part in Doron Amir’s cyber championship. There is a huge importance to a young, curious generation that thinks outside the box, and leads by excellence. I have seen the great contribution of young men and women to this effort, and I very much hope that next year – at least half of this group will be women, and in a way that will later take a greater part in Israeli society.
“As head of the Mossad, the late Meir Dagan has led the fight against the Iranian nuclear program and has been a key figure in recent decades in the prevention of Iran’s nuclear capability. The fight has been in all dimensions, including the new one that will become stronger in the future – the Cybernetic dimension,” Eizenkot said.
Doron Amir, CEO of CyTaka, said: “Israel is leading the global cyber field in creativity – it can be seen in security, industrial, and education. The world cyber championship of CyTaka brings awareness and the importance of producing achievements and excellence in cyber globally. The more developed the cyber field, in more countries around the world, the more secure and protected the world will be.
The idea to cooperate internationally connects and mediates between different nations who see cyber-attacks as a common and worrying problem. When it is in the wrong hands, it may harm all of us in security, economy, and quality of modern life. We need more collaborations and interdependence between man and technology – so we allow everyone, from every nation and country, to participate in CyTaka’s cyber championship, which also takes place in the international arena and allows everyone to demonstrate excellence and special skills in cyber. “
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