Israel is launching a cyber-security-related investigation of a cybersecurity firm it is considering acquiring, and the country is also considering using its own antivirus technology for internal security, Israeli officials said Tuesday.
The Israeli government, which has been battling a string of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure since March, has been considering buying the cybersecurity company for security reasons.
But the issue has been a major sticking point in negotiations with Washington over a security pact with Iran.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said that “the Government of Israel has requested and has received a report from the Israeli cybersecurity firm that it will conduct a thorough investigation of the matter.”
The prime minister’s office said that the investigation will look at whether the cyber security firm should have used a foreign security service to procure the cybersecurity software, as was done with the cybersecurity firm Avagoa, which is owned by Avast, a French multinational company.
The government said that, as of Monday, the government had received the report.
The statement added that the government is studying the issue “to ensure that the cybersecurity firm complies with all Israeli laws and regulations and is subject to the same oversight as other Israeli companies.”
The report will include the results of its investigation, the prime minister said.
“The Israeli cyber security company is one of the leading companies in the country and we will make sure it is operated with the highest level of professionalism and ethical standards,” the prime minster said.
A senior official at the cybersecurity industry group, the Israeli Cyber Society, said the government’s decision to investigate the cyber firm’s cybersecurity software was “not surprising.”
“The Government of the State of Israel should be cautious about the acquisition of such a high-quality company,” said Naftali Yigal, head of the Israeli cyber society.
“We are a member of the Security Council and we do not support this.”
Yigal said he believes the government would be able to obtain the cybersecurity technology from Avagoas cybersecurity software provider, which he said does not have the same level of security as the Israeli company.
“Avagoa has more than 50,000 employees worldwide and the company is also the largest private security company in the world,” he said.
“Its products have been used by every country on the planet for decades.
The only thing that makes it unique is that it is developed by a large company and has a strong security team.
The government should not purchase a company that does not meet its requirements.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he wants to build an independent cyber-defence unit and has said the country will use its own cyber security services.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu announced a plan to purchase Avagoatas cybersecurity technology, but it has not yet been formally approved by the Israeli cabinet.
A government official said in March that the Prime Minster’s Office was considering a plan for Israel to purchase a cybersecurity company.
Netanyahu, who has repeatedly said Israel will not enter into any deal with Iran that would require it to make compromises on its nuclear program, has repeatedly expressed support for cybersecurity in the past.
The cybersecurity firm has been critical of the country’s cybersecurity policies, saying that the country needs to focus on developing a “modern” cyber security infrastructure.
The firm’s chief executive, Eitan Shukri, said in an interview that Israel’s cyber security policy was outdated.
He said Israel needs to develop a new cyber security system that will be able not only to defend its borders, but also to fight the spread of cyber threats, including ransomware attacks.
“There is a problem in Israel right now, and it’s a problem that needs to be addressed, and we are taking the necessary measures,” Shukrisaid.
“It’s important that we have the capability to respond to the ransomware attacks in a timely manner, and that we will be ready to respond if something like ransomware emerges.”