Israeli firms get top honors at premier cyber-security show

Statistics show Israel is a global cyber-defense power, says head of the National Cyber Bureau

Exhibition floor at the RSA Security Conference (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Exhibition floor at the RSA Security Conference (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Israeli cyber-security companies walked away with eleven awards Monday night, concurring with the RSA Security Conference, being held this week in San Francisco. Israeli companies won awards in categories such as “Awesome Product of the Year,” “Products and Services Excellence,” “Database Security,” and “Tomorrow’s Technology Today,” among others.

RSA (named for the Israel-based security company that was bought by EMC in 2006), which has been held annually since 1991, brings together top security and cyber-defense professionals to discuss, among other things, the previous year’s cyber-news — who got hacked and why, and how to avoid future attacks. Dozens of companies from around the world present their cyber-technology, with executives from top multi-nationals checking out the technology for application security, network hardening, mobile security, cloud and data security, trends in the hacking world, and much more.

The awards were distributed as part of  Info Security Products Guide’s Global Excellence Awards, which have been given out since 2004. The RSA Conference opened Monday and continues through Thursday, Feb. 27.

In recent speeches, Israeli political and business leaders have been touting Israel as a cyber-security powerhouse. At the recent Cybertech 2014 event in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was “exploding with creativity. We’re like a country that would have about half a billion people in terms of our cyber capabilities.”

But it’s not just hype. According to Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau, Israel’s cyber-security exports in 2013 totaled about $3 billion – 5% of the global market and three times greater than Britain’s. And to top it off, 11% of all money raised for cyber-security firms in 2013 were raised for Israeli companies – a total of $165 million. There are at least 200 cyber-security start-ups in Israel, 100 of which were formed in the past year. And, he added, 20 multi-national companies had cyber-security R&D firms in Israel.

Among the Israeli winners at the event was Kfar Saba-based Covertix, which received a silver award in the Database Security, Data Leakage Protection and Extrusion Prevention category, as well as a bronze medal in the Awesome Product of the Year category. Covertix received the award for its SmartCipher system, which assigns policies and rights to a file, with only specific users who have those rights able to access the file. SmartCipher essentially puts a “lock” on the file, said Yoran Sirkis, CEO of Covertix, preventing tampering with files, and assuring users that the file is safe, and does not include viruses or other malware.

“Our solutions enable our customers to control and protect sensitive data, while continuing to use their preferred cloud storage, collaboration or data sharing platforms without changing existing business processes or user behaviors,” said Sirkis. “These awards recognize the value of our solutions in allowing organizations to monitor, control and protect their sensitive and confidential information anywhere and at any time without interrupting end users behaviors or the flow of existing business driven processes.”

Another Israeli company, Seculert, received a bronze award in the Innovations in Enterprise Security category. Seculert takes a wide-range view of security, gathering and analyzing intelligence from multiple sources, including known hacker servers and sites. The system checks out not only data coming in from the Internet, but also where it came from – whether the source was a legitimate server, or one associated with cyber-criminals, hackers, or spoofers (phony or hijacked servers). If the source doesn’t look “kosher,” Seculert’s system dumps the file.

“As a cloud-based solution, Seculert requires no hardware or software and provides full coverage for all sites and employees, including those working remotely and on personal mobile devices,” said Dudi Matot, co- founder and CEO of Seculert. “Through a simple API, threat information can automatically be transferred from Seculert to perimeter defenses in order to bolster the capabilities of existing security investments. This award recognizes the innovation behind our solution, which is powered by a unique combination of technologies that work together in the cloud and over time to detect advanced threats that no onsite solution can possibly find.”

Yet another Israeli company to score was Votiro, which snagged the top prize – a gold award — in the Innovations in Next Generation Security category. Votiro “sanitizes” links, attachments, email messages, downloads, and any other form of data that enters an organization’s servers via the Internet, ensuring that they cannot affect a company’s servers – because users cannot access them in order to open them and unleash malware inside an organization. Votiro’s Secure Data Sanitization solution scans incoming files with a series commercially available anti- virus programs and then checks each file’s structure and metadata. If anything seems untoward, the file is thrown out.

This process, said Votiro CEO Itay Glick, detects and eliminates any exploit, regardless if it is known, unknown or zero-day. “We are proud to receive this award recognition, which recognizes the value we are providing to our customers for uniquely eliminating malicious exploits that are still unknown and have not yet been identified.”

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