Netanyahu at cyber conference
Netanyahu at cyber conferenceChaim Tzach/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel had helped Australia foil an attack on a civilian aircraft.

Speaking at the national Cyber Week at Tel Aviv University, Netanyahu said: "Israel helped the Australian police thwart an ISIS attack on a plane. If we multiply this case by 50, it will give you an idea of Israel's contribution to preventing terrorist acts in dozens of countries."

"We are in the midst of a revolution in which cybersecurity is at its core - creating enormous challenges and enormous opportunities," the prime minister said.

"50 years ago, the Israeli automotive industry was just the Sussita, the fiberglass car, and we could not compete because it was an industry based on economies of a scale that Israel does not have. Today the automotive industry has changed - soon 85 percent of the value of the vehicle will be software. Cars are starting to become computers on wheels, and there we can compete. One of the leading Israeli companies in the field is MobilEye, and most of these companies did not exist just seven years ago.

"A second example of changing industries is digital health. Israel has a very diverse medical dataset because many of its residents come from different places, and we have a digital connection between hospitals, which allows preventive medicine and a lot of learning. We have to decide to put a billion shekels in this project and it will make a revolution. Another example is more accurate artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data agriculture that will allow us to monitor the water and fertilizer used in this field.

"Who are the 10 largest companies in the world? Ten years ago there were five energy companies among them. Today these are IT companies, and all of them have development centers in Israel, some of which are even the main development centers. These are opportunities that Israel must grasp.

"It is important to understand that Israel has invested more [per capita] than any other country in the West and more than any other country except the United States in absolute terms in IT, which are huge sums invested in intelligence, Mossad and the Shin Bet. It is a huge investment in human capital, people who can deal with the Internet and with the consequences of the revolution both as entrepreneurs and as employees.

"We have seen great growth in all of these industries, and Cyber ​​is the vital factor in this growth. We intend to be global leaders. A few years ago, I said we would be among the top 5 countries in the world and I think we have reached that point.

"The number of cyber security companies in Israel has increased significantly, as have the private investment in these companies and the exits. I would like fewer exits and more companies to grow but I let these [exits] take place. I believe that the market is smarter than politicians and even the prime minister. We also need to know what not to interfere with. It's hard not to create regulation, and it's not that there's no need, but you have to take the risk and do less regulation and that's the decision I made to allow this industry to grow.

"We encourage connections between companies and governments, we have better cooperation than ever with our good friend the United States on cyber, and we encourage international companies to come here, and we even have a curriculum for companies that come here, and they become ambassadors of the start-up world Ups when they leave.

"To give an example of cyber security: a plane from Sydney to Abu Dhabi was supposed to explode on the way from an ISIS attack, we warned the Australian police, and the incident was handled. If we double this case by 50, it will give you an idea of ​​Israel's contribution to the prevention of terrorist acts in dozens of countries, and many of these events do not happen because of Israeli actions. This affects not only aviation and transportation, but everything."