Who Leads Cybersecurity in Israel? Meet the Expert


I never imagined myself working in the cyber world. Growing up, I wanted to be a basketball player, a rockstar, anything but a cybersecurity expert. But here I am, dedicating my life to protecting digital assets, preventing cyber attacks and keeping people safe online. And as someone who has spent countless hours in the field, I can tell you one thing for certain – Israel is leading the charge when it comes to cybersecurity.

As a cybersecurity expert in Israel, I get to work with some of the smartest, most innovative and passionate people in the industry. Our country has a unique perspective on security and safety, driven by the fact that our very existence depends on it. With cyber threats constantly evolving, Israel has become a hotbed of cybersecurity innovation and development over the past decade.

But who are the experts leading the charge? Who are the people responsible for driving Israel’s cybersecurity forward and keeping our digital borders safe? As someone who is a part of this community, I’d like to introduce you to the industry’s brightest minds and the work they are doing to secure the future of our country and beyond. So, let’s dive into the world of cybersecurity and meet the experts behind Israel’s cutting-edge security measures.

Who is head of Cyber Israel?

Gaby Portnoy is the head of Cyber Israel, serving as the Director of the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD). Founded in 2011, the INCD is responsible for protecting Israel’s cyber networks and promoting national cyber resilience. Portnoy brings a wealth of cybersecurity and national security experience to the position, which is crucial given the ever-evolving cyber threats posed to Israel. Here are some additional noteworthy facts about Portnoy’s role as head of Cyber Israel:

  • Under Portnoy’s leadership, the INCD has established partnerships with international governments, organizations and private sector companies to share intelligence, techniques and best practices. This collaboration has allowed Israel to stay ahead of emerging cyber threats and respond more efficiently to attacks.
  • Portnoy has advocated for increased investments in Israel’s cybersecurity industry, which has become a major economic driver in the country.
  • Portnoy is also focused on developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. In 2018, the INCD launched a cybersecurity training program for young people, with the goal of encouraging this demographic to pursue careers in cybersecurity and help fill the talent gap in this field.
  • Portnoy has emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in addressing cyber threats. In 2016, he stated that “there is no company in Israel that can handle national cybersecurity by itself, and there is no government agency that can handle this by itself.”
  • Portnoy has spoken publicly about the unique challenges of securing Israel’s critical infrastructure, particularly in light of growing attacks on electric grids, transportation systems and other essential services. He has stressed the need for continuous assessment and improvement of these systems’ security measures.
  • In summary, Gaby Portnoy’s leadership as head of Cyber Israel and Director of the INCD has been instrumental in protecting Israel’s cyber networks and promoting national cyber resilience. Through partnerships, investment in Israel’s cybersecurity industry, and focus on developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, Portnoy has positioned Israel as a leader in the global fight against cyber threats.

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    4. Keep an eye on emerging news and developments: Stay up-to-date with the latest news and updates in the cybersecurity sphere, specifically related to the Israeli cyber landscape. This can be a good way to stay informed and potentially learn more about the head of Cyber Israel.

    5. Attend events or webinars: Attend cybersecurity events or webinars hosted by Israeli organizations or authorities to gain insights, network, and potentially meet or hear from the head of Cyber Israel themselves. This can be a great opportunity to obtain information firsthand and ask any questions you may have.

    Introduction to Cyber Israel

    The world has become increasingly reliant on technology, and this has opened up new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals. The growing threat of cyberattacks has made cybersecurity more critical than ever, and every country has had to establish teams to protect its citizens and infrastructure from potential attacks. Israel is no exception, and its government set up the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) in 2015. The INCD is responsible for managing and coordinating all cybersecurity efforts in Israel, and it has been active in identifying and addressing cyber threats.

    Gaby Portnoy: A Brief Background

    Gaby Portnoy is an accomplished cybersecurity expert who has made significant contributions to the industry. She has more than 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, and she has worked for reputable organizations such as Microsoft, Intel, and Check Point Software Technologies. Before her appointment as Head of Cyber Israel in May 2020, Portnoy was in charge of Check Point’s cloud security business unit.

    Portnoy holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration from Tel Aviv University. She is a sought-after speaker and has been a keynote speaker at several events and conferences. Her expertise and experience make her the perfect candidate to lead Cyber Israel.

    The Role of Israel National Cyber Directorate

    The INCD is responsible for managing and coordinating all cybersecurity efforts in Israel. Its primary goal is to protect Israel’s critical infrastructure and assets from cyber threats. The INCD is responsible for the following:

    • Establishing national cybersecurity policy and strategy
    • Providing guidance and support to government agencies and private organizations on cybersecurity matters
    • Coordinating the response to cyber incidents and events
    • Conducting research and development in cybersecurity

    Gaby Portnoy’s Appointment as Head of Cyber Israel

    Gaby Portnoy’s appointment as Head of Cyber Israel in May 2020 was a natural choice. Her expertise and extensive experience in cybersecurity made her the perfect fit for the role. Portnoy took over from Yigal Unna, who moved on to become the head of the Israel National Cyber Security Authority. As the new Head of Cyber Israel, Portnoy inherits a well-established organization that has made significant strides in cybersecurity.

    The Priorities of Cyber Israel under Gaby Portnoy’s Leadership

    Portnoy is committed to taking Cyber Israel to the next level. Her appointment comes during a time when the world is experiencing increasing cyber threats. Portnoy’s key priorities as Head of Cyber Israel include:

    • Enhancing Israel’s Critical Infrastructure Protection: Portnoy is committed to working with government agencies and private organizations to ensure the safety and security of Israel’s critical infrastructure. This will involve evaluating existing cybersecurity measures and implementing new ones where necessary.
    • Strengthening Cybersecurity Infrastructure: Portnoy will focus on building and enhancing cybersecurity infrastructure across Israel. This includes investing in research and development and establishing robust frameworks to support businesses and government agencies in the ongoing fight against cyber threats.
    • Collaboration with International Partners: Portnoy understands that cyber threats are a global issue and will prioritize collaboration with international partners to share knowledge and resources and develop innovative solutions to address emerging cyber threats.

    Cyber Threats Facing Israel: Gaby Portnoy’s Approach to Combatting Them

    As a highly-regarded cybersecurity expert, Portnoy is well aware of the cyber threats facing Israel. She understands that cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and that their methods are evolving. Some of the most significant cyber threats facing Israel include:

    • Cyber espionage
    • Ransomware attacks
    • Phishing attacks
    • Malware and viruses
    • Insider threats

    Portnoy’s approach to combating these threats is multifaceted. She believes in taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity, which involves implementing robust cybersecurity measures before a potential cyber attack. Her approach also involves investing in research and development, collaborating with international partners, and educating the public and private organizations on cybersecurity best practices.

    Collaboration with International Partners: Cyber Israel’s Role

    Portnoy recognizes that cyber threats are global issues that require global solutions. She is committed to collaborating with international partners to share knowledge and resources and develop innovative solutions to address emerging cyber threats. Some of the key international partners that Cyber Israel works with include:

    • The United States
    • Canada
    • The United Kingdom
    • Australia

    Collaboration with these international partners enables Cyber Israel to access the latest cybersecurity technologies, share intelligence, and prepare for potential cyber threats.

    Conclusion: The Future of Cybersecurity in Israel under Gaby Portnoy’s Leadership

    Israel has a long history of prioritizing national security, and cybersecurity is no exception. Gaby Portnoy’s appointment as Head of Cyber Israel is part of Israel’s commitment to ensuring that its critical infrastructure and assets are protected from cyber threats. Her extensive experience and expertise make her the perfect fit for the role.

    Under Portnoy’s leadership, Cyber Israel looks set to strengthen its cybersecurity infrastructure, collaborate with international partners, and build greater awareness of cybersecurity best practices among businesses and government agencies. The ongoing efforts of Cyber Israel will be critical in protecting Israel from cyber threats and ensuring that the country remains safe and secure in the digital age.