Israel cyber directorate, Shin Bet given power to fight cyberattacks


Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (INCD) announced last week that the government has approved emergency regulations to enhance the country’s ability to defend against widespread cyberattacks. Since the start of the war with Hamas in Gaza, the INCD has identified approximately 40 attempted cyberattacks on companies and digital storage services that cater to numerous Israeli businesses.

The purpose of these regulations is to minimize potential collateral damage to the economy during emergencies resulting from these cyberattacks.

Due to the nature of the services offered by storage and digital services, they provide a gateway for attackers to infiltrate and compromise connected entities or stored information, potentially affecting multiple customers simultaneously.

The scope of damage may extend to critical institutions such as hospitals, shipping companies, and government offices, which play an essential role in normal operations and especially during emergency situations.

Wave of cyberattacks hit Israel amid war with Hamas

Throughout the war with Hamas, there has been a rise in damaging cyberattacks targeting these types of companies. To safeguard the public and ensure the uninterrupted functioning of the Israeli economy, the need arose for urgent implementation of emergency regulations to detect, contain, and minimize the impact of such attacks.

The purpose of the directive is to reduce the potential lateral damage that may be caused to the economy during an emergency as a result of such an attack (credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

In the event of a serious cyberattack that poses a risk to the state or essential services, either the INCD, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), or the Defense Ministry – depending on the affected company type  will have the authority to instruct storage service providers and digital services on how to handle the situation. These instructions will only be issued if the storage service providers and digital services fail to adequately address the cyberattack.

Furthermore, the regulations stipulate that before issuing instructions, the potential effects on privacy aspects and the economic consequences of implementing the instructions will be carefully considered. State bodies will also report to the attorney-general and the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on a bi-weekly basis regarding.

The approved emergency regulations will take immediate effect and remain valid for one month.

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