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“We need to make cybersecurity a commodity”

Former Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate, Yigal Unna, on the main stage of Cybertech Global TLV

Yigal Unna. Photo by Gilad Kavalerchik
Yigal Unna. Photo by Gilad Kavalerchik

“We need to understand where we are standing today. Winter is not coming – it’s getting colder,” said Former Director General of Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), Yigal Unna, at the Cybertech Global TLV main plenary on Wednesday morning.

Discussing new insights and remedies for current cyber challenges, Unna addressed the current situation in Eastern Europe. “What is happening now is frightening, a cyber warfare is happening as we speak, and we haven’t seen the worse yet.

“We see wiper attacks against civilian entities, critical infrastructure, everything nation state need to defend against – and due to war clouds, war fog, we can’t even see the full picture. We also see the increase in ransomware attacks, the increase in payments – all of this is very disturbing.”

Unna then said he’d like to share a few insights he’s gathered during his four years heading INCD. First, he said, nations must be better prepared. “We need a holistic, community approach working together, and up-to-date progressive regulation. In Israel, we’re still behind, but other countries also need to catch up, but also take action before regulation.

“We need to see more team work, the understanding that no one can win alone. If we have learned something from the Russia-Ukraine war, this is it – the need to work together. We need an ecosystem – not to stand alone.

Another major point, according to Unna, is “the need to constantly adjust to the hectic dynamics. What worked yesterday might not work today. Let’s not ‘wait until after the weekend’ – I’ve heard that from heads of corporations which almost ceased to exist.”

Unna noted that “it takes the bad guys an average of 9 days to get inside the system, and the good guys between 14-21 days. We need to close the gap, be faster. It is possible to defend before the attacks come to us.

“Cyber should be for everyone, we need to make cybersecurity a commodity, something that everyone can understand. We need to improve awareness.

In addition to a constant technological improvement and better solutions to cater for OT users, Unna also discussed the importance of a holistic mitigation approach. “The community effort against DDoS is the new solution. We need to go to the cloud and make is wider, more of a community. We need a new paradigm – inhibiting rather than containing.”

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