The Israeli military has announced Friday its plans to consolidate all of its cyber warfare capabilities under a unified Cyber Command by 2017.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which relies on different units to carry out offensive and defensive operations, decided earlier this month to have all platforms operating in a single cyber centre, Sputnik International reported today.
Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, IDF chief of staff said that the IDF is required to excel in every aspect of war, including the cyber dimension. "This new command will empower the IDF to perform better in these fronts and will utilize the technological and human advantage that already exists in Israel." Eisenkot added.
The IDF’ recent investment in the cyber arena has been spread out across many service branches as well as departments. The new command is expected to receive the bulk of investment spending, and also additional priority funding over the next five years.
"We will be required to make very large investments in cyber," Maj. Gen. Nimrod Shefer, IDF chief of Plans, told a Herzliya Conference. "It's a new world that is very quickly advancing. Israel was wise enough in recent years to invest heavily in cyber to become a cyber-power.” Shefer added.
Gabi Siboni, a retired IDF colonel, head of Cyber Security Studies at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies told Defense News that the relation between defensive and offensive cyber is extremely vital.
“The fact that until now they were viewed as separate domains was a kind of anomaly," he added.
"It means the IDF has decided to implement a synergistic approach to this critical new combat dimension," he added. Moreover, every operational IDF order has to relate to the cyber aspect. “We have to ensure that we don’t encounter a threat that catches us unready." Siboni said.