Cyber Week Takes Tel Aviv by Storm

The trendsetting event of the cyber security industry brought thousands of participants from around the world to Tel Aviv University
03 July 2023
Gili Drob-Heistein, Prof. Ariel Porat and Prof. Isaac Ben Israel presenting the Cyber Shield Award to Brig. General (Ret.) Pinhas Buchris (center right) for his outstanding contribution to the development of cyber security in Israel (photo: Dror Sithakol).

The city of Tel Aviv shined as the “cyber capital of the world” last week during the 13th annual Cyber Week event hosted by the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center and the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University together with Israel’s National Cyber Directorate. 


The four-day event drew over 11,000 guests from 100 countries, including 400 top-notch speakers who led the Week’s 50 talks. They covered everything cyber, from existential fears to real threats, and laid the groundwork for solutions and collaboration.


The main topics discussed were the challenges and opportunities that are shaping the cyber security industry with the advancement of new technologies, primarily generative AI and quantum computers.


“AI is helping us create an Iron Dome in the Israeli cybersecurity space,” said Ronen Bar, the Director of Israel’s Security Agency (Shin Bet), and a TAU alumnus, who talked about generative AI’s influence on cyber security. He mentioned that the said ‘Cyber Dome’ has already been activated as Israel’s protective cyber shield.


Bar also spoke about the importance of collaborations in the global arena in the face of rising cyber threats. A country’s cyber infrastructure should be protected by three layers, he said: the local layer, based on local intelligence and capabilities; the international layer based on globally collected databases and overall cooperation; and the government-private business collaborations, based on knowledge-sharing and mutual rewards.


“Cyber Week has become the international platform that attracts thought leaders, experts, professionals, investors, start-ups government officials, military, and academia leaders from all over the world. The impact of Cyber Week extends far beyond the borders of Israel, as it plays a pivotal role in shaping the cyber security landscape worldwide,” said Gili Drob-Heistein, the executive director of the Blavatnik ICRC and the Yuval Ne’eman workshop at the event’s opening.


Among notable speakers were Cyber Week’s chairman and the Director of Blavatnik ICRC and the Yuval Ne’eman workshop Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel; heads of cyber security agencies of the United States, Canada, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan; heads of national security agencies from the US, Israel, Canada, and Singapore: and top information security officers at leading technology companies, such as Google, Intel, Checkpoint, Microsoft and more.


Cyber Week, whose main plenary took place at the Miriam and Adolfo Smolarz Auditorium at TAU, is a sister event of AI Week, also run annually by the Blavatnik ICRC, which is coming up in February of 2024. 




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