Online security

Israel appoints ex-general to head government cybersecurity

JERUSALEM, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of retired military intelligence general Gaby Portnoy to head the country’s National Cybersecurity Directorate, the prime minister’s office said.

Portnoy will replace Yigal Unna, who stepped down last month, as chief cybersecurity officer.

The Cyber ​​Directorate is the primary body tasked with defending Israel’s cyberspace and advancing the building of its cyberforce. It works to strengthen the protection of organizations and citizens against cyberattacks and emergency preparedness.

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Israeli government websites and companies face thousands of attacks daily, but most are thwarted.

Portnoy, 52, is chief operating officer of high-tech company EnVizon Medical.

Previously, he spent 31 years in the Armed Forces, serving in leadership positions including Chief of Intelligence Corps Operations, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General.

Israel’s cyber sector is one of the fastest growing in the country, raising $8.8 billion in 2021 to triple the amount in 2020. Another 40 Israeli cyber businesses were purchased by foreign companies for a total of 3, $5 billion, while Israeli cyber exports reached $11 billion in 2021.

The management said that 40% of global private investment in cybersecurity funding rounds is in Israel.

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Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Barbara Lewis Editing by Dan Williams and Barbara Lewis

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