In a landmark decision on 21 September, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the establishment of a National Authority for Cyber Defense.
The new authority will be responsible for protecting the civilian sector from cyber threats and will push Israel to the vanguard of the cyber defense arena. Currently Israel operates a National Cyber Bureau, which reports to the Prime Minister's Office.
Recent studies by the Institute of National Security Studies show that cyber warfare is becoming an increasingly pertinent threat; Iran has significantly improved its cyber defense program as well as its cyber attack capabilities.
The studies show that a successful cyber attack on "energy, gas and water control systems could cause significant damage." Cyber-attacks on Israeli websites have become more and more frequent in recent years. Major terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, together with Iran, have shown an increasing interest in the field of cyber terror. The announcement surfaces after the IDF's cyber defense division was drafted in to mount a defense against a systemic hacker attack - sponsored by the Iranian government - during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza this summer.