The virus wasn’t the only thing spreading globally during the height of the pandemic. Cyber threats were also running rampant, robbing data from individuals and disrupting major organizations. Israeli startups in the cybersecurity space have set new venture capital raising records and provide hope for combating online threats in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The Growth of Cyber Attacks
The number of cyberattacks has been growing rapidly in the past few years. The pandemic, however, saw an unprecedented rise in the scale of online fraud, hacking, and malware infections. Businesses, individuals, and even hospitals have been the target of attacks. In August 2020, Israel’s Ministry of Defense reported that they had successfully prevented a cyber attack on the defense industry.
One result of the pandemic was that many people were working and learning at home. As people around the world are getting vaccinated and offices and schools are opening up, a large number of people will opt to continue to work at home.
According to a Global Work at Home Experience survey facilitated by Dr. Anita Kamouri of Iometrics, it is estimated that 25% to 30% of the workforce will be working at home at least several days a week by the end of 2021. Although this may mean more flexibility and convenience for workers, the new telecommuting reality may create more security threats.
A survey of 3,000 employees working remotely demonstrated that they were engaging in activities, such as reusing passwords and accessing company data on devices that are not secure. These practices put their own and corporate security at risk.
Part of the solution is to insist that work-at-home employees adopt best practices for heightened security. Cybersecurity improvements can also provide protection in cases where there is less oversight.
Israeli Startup Raise Record Funds During Pandemic
In response to the worldwide problem of cyberthreats, Israeli startups are providing solutions and were rewarded with a 70% rise in investment. The role Israeli startups play in the global market is substantial, with 31% of global investments in 2020 going to Israeli cybersecurity. A total of $2.9 billion was raised in 100 transactions.
Five Israeli companies reached unicorn status in 2020–Synk, SentinalOne, Cato Networks, Forter and BigID. Unicorns are private companies that are valued at least $1 billion.
Top Israeli startups that are not busy attracting investors or achieving unicorn status are participating in lucrative takeovers. In 2020, 20 of these startups were bought by other companies at a total of $4.7 billion.
The robust investment in the cybersecurity sector is welcome amid a 30% rise in cybersecurity attacks in the past year and threats to defense systems and attempts to steal crucial and sensitive data from the World Health Organization in the midst of the pandemic.
How to Invest in Israel’s Cybersecurity Sector
Given that so many of Israel’s successful startups are either privately-held unicorns, are in the process of raising money for IPOs, or are being taken over by other companies, investors may have to look closely for ways to invest in the Israeli tech sector.
Although most of the Israeli stocks on the Nasdaq are not brand-new, many have a track record of success. Among publicly traded Israeli companies outside of Israel, the most common sectors represented are healthcare and hi-tech, with familiar names such as Teva Pharmaceuticals, Cellcom, Checkpoint Software, and Nice Technologies.
Research and due diligence is required to select from these stocks, so many investors prefer ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds that provide broad exposure to Israeli companies and distribute risks among a large number of stocks.
An ideal way to invest in the rapidly growing Israeli hi-tech and healthcare industries is with the Jerusalem Portfolio. Accounts are available for individuals or you can give the gift of the Jerusalem portfolio for as little as $180.
About the Jerusalem Portfolio
The Jerusalem Portfolio is comprised of a fractional interest in 100 Israeli companies through a portfolio of professionally managed ETFs. The recipient will be given a plaque with a beautiful and customized image of Jerusalem. Talk to our experts today about giving the Jerusalem Portfolio to a special young person as a bar or bat mitzvah gift, birthday, graduation, or other occasions.