Video interview with Pinhas Buchris, former Head of 8200 division, Israel Defense Forces and Investor

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What would be your advice to other states and companies regarding cybersecurity? 

Pinhas Buchris: First of all, I think that the state should understand that the cyber‑threat is a real threat and they have to develop seriously. And because all of us, countries but not just countries, individuals, we'd like to be better web‑connected to all the kinds of Internet games and Facebook and Google and Twitter and everything like this the minute you are well connected to the net, when you are connected to the Internet, everything, everything is accessible. 

It's not a question if you can protect yourself. In spite of you protecting yourself 100 percent, the other guys, the hackers can penetrate your system. The question is not if; the question is when they put you as a target to attack, because they are looking at your weaknesses in your system, in your protection system. And believe me, they will find weaknesses that they can penetrate your system.  

So you have to take very seriously, every country, to have a lot of regulation dealing with that and to build the protection systems starting from the infrastructure, the infrastructure of your communication, built layer by layer by layer, and all the time to renew it. The meaning of it is not that you bought any kind of product two years ago and say, oh, I'm well protected.  No, you have to update your protection system to update threats. And you need to create any kind of intelligent system that collects and understands what is going on with the state of mind of hackers and everything like this.  

One of the most important things about dealing with cyber‑attacks starts with education. People, organizations, countries have to train on that. I can ask you how many times an organization makes training for fire crisis. Once a year? Three times a year? How many times they practice any kind of cyber‑attack?

Can a digitized world ever be safe, or are the risks too high nowadays?

Pinhas Buchris: You'll never be safe. You'll never be safe when you connect to the net. And all the new technology, IoT and others creates that the world's going to be in this situation more than before. And when we are taking IoT to our home and to our companies, the meaning of it is to create a lot of new arenas for hackers to attack you. So this is going to be a very interesting time with all the IoT and all the others. The question, is the organization or the person taking care for it before.

History has shown us that highly developed societies come to a rapid end.  With the digital wave we are riding now, are we reaching such an inflexion point? 

Pinhas Buchris: From what you are saying, the answer is yes; but I'm not sure because the question is, history, when are you checking history, you have to check the history of the people or take care for it before. If not, history will come back; and we found out something is that a loss point again and we have to rebuild our system. But if you taking the risk and understanding the situation and you will build your organization, your society and deal with all the threats, you can protect yourself to be in the area that you are today. It could be catastrophic, but it shouldn't be catastrophic.

What must be done to ensure that we do not reach such a point and a trajectory? 

Pinhas Buchris: What I am saying could be but shouldn't be is the question if you renew yourself time by time. And I can give you a lot of big companies that in the past they were superpowers and today they disappeared. Why did they disappear? Because they didn't take care and understand the influence of new technology coming to the world. For example, take Kodak. But I can give you on the other hand another superpower company like IBM. IBM was dealing with computers, and today they are dealing with the cutting‑edge technology of the world to keep themselves in a high position.  

I think that organizations, countries should renew themselves, understand what is the meaning of new technology coming to the world, and take from it the advantages, not saying we are satisfied with our situation. We never should be satisfied with our situation.

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