This year Al-Quds Day, which translates to Jerusalem Day (though not to be confused with Israel’s celebration of Jerusalem Day), lands on May 7. On this day, cybersecurity and IT experts in Israel can expect to find themselves fending off numerous hacking attempts and cyberattacks on Israeli computer systems and websites. Last May, one attack was notoriously successful.
It’s not only this one day of the year that keeps cybersecurity professionals in Israel busy. Recent years have seen new peaks in cyberattacks on large corporate, financial, and governmental data systems around the world.
So it’s not surprising that in 2021, one out of ten high-tech jobs in Israel is in cyber and every year 800 new cyber-related positions are created. Starting salaries are NIS 10,000 per month and quickly jump to NIS 25,000-30,000 after a couple of years of experience. At the time this article was written, the Israeli high-tech industry suffers from a shortage of 13,000 skilled tech professionals, which include thousands of unmanned cyber and information security positions. Israel’s cybersecurity industry is the second-largest in the world (after the US) with over 500 cyber-tech companies.
Closing the manpower shortage with tech training in English
As more organizations operate in-house security operations centers (SOC) or security incident and event management (SIEM) departments, the demand for work-ready SOC analysts is rapidly growing. The SOC acts like a war-room that works around the clock, year around, monitoring the IT networks, analyzing suspicious events and data access, doing risk assessment, and protecting both the organization’s data and its operations.
Over the years, Israel Tech Challenge, a nonprofit organization owned by the Jewish Agency, ran high-level tech training bootcamps for different roles in cyber-tech, from software developers who develop the next antivirus to programmers learning the ropes of penetration testing. This year, with the continued help of industry cybersecurity experts, ITC will start training students for careers starting at the frontline of security operations.
ITC takes analytical thinkers from any age and background and teaches them – in English – the key skills needed to start working as SOC analysts, including: network and data systems monitoring and analysis, spotting and tracking anomalies, security probing, and risk assessment. To ensure the start of a lucrative career trajectory, itc.tech’s program also includes Python coding and SQL training, soft-skill training to prepare for the Israeli high-tech mentality, and two months of industry experience within a security operations center. ITC works closely with over 300 of the leading tech companies and startups to assist its graduates find work after graduation.
Learn cybersecurity skills with or without traveling to Israel
ITC’s Cyber and SOC analyst training program also has the Israeli Innovation Authority’s seal of approval and is open to all who can pass the rigorous screening process. Classes are taught in a hybrid online and on-campus, so the first part of training can be done on a flexible schedule and without traveling to Israel. Olim who’ve been in Israel less than 10 years may choose to use their aliyah benefits to pay most of the tuition, and young people from abroad can choose to undergo the training program as part of a Masa Israel Journey program.
Overall, it’s a double win for the nonprofit ITC: Helping potential and new olim assimilate into Israeli high-tech and empowering Israel with well trained cyber experts and SOC analysts. Hopefully, Al-Quds day hackers will need to find other things to do next year.
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