Cyber warfare is becoming an increasingly important problem, as Israel very well knows. An information session at the AIPAC Policy Conference focused on the need for Israel and the United States to increase their cyber defensive cooperation.
Panelist Major Gen. Itzik Ben Israel, Head of Tel Aviv University's Security Studies Program, stated that there is not enough cooperation. Israel is at the top of the game in the internet defense world and the United States needs to utilize this Israeli know-how. Israel is among the three leaders in readiness to fight cyber warfare, according to a new report from McAfee and Security& Defense Agenda, a leading defense and security think-tank in Brussels. Even with its high ranking, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has provided immense resources for his newly established cyber defense unit.
Ben Israel also emphasized the need for the international community as a whole to develop an international regime on the level of Interpol to combat cyber terrorism. A common misperception, he pointed out, is that cyber terrorism is all about stealing military information and harming a state’s government, when “civilian infrastructure is where the real damage can be done.” Its implications are obvious: water, energy, travel and finance, are all reliant on computers and are all within the civilian infrastructure.
Panelist Dr. James Van de Velde, an internet terrorism expert at Booze Allen Hamilton, expressed his opinion that industry needs to take a stronger role in internet regulation and defense. He also stated that cyber terrorism should be an increasing priority in the Israel-US relationship as groups like al-Qaeda move away from organized physical attacks and more towards providing written inspiration via the internet for random acts.
Stay tuned for more on the US-Israel connection. Have a question or comment about what’s going on at the conference? Tweet us @Jspace_News or email our Foreign Affairs Correspondent at email@example.com.
Reporting on the 2012 AIPAC Policy Conference is Jspace Foreign Affairs Correspondent Rob Lattin. In addition to covering foreign affairs for Jspace, Rob is a blogger on Israeli and Middle Eastern foreign policy for the Foreign Policy Association, as well as a freelance writer.