Last week, Japanese multinational tech giant, NTT Corporation, officially launched its new Innovation Laboratory in Israel. NTT has identified the need to enhance its activity in the country, scouring the ecosystem for game-changing innovation in the digital health, robotics, and cybersecurity sectors. With the latter a key focus for NTT, which monitors nearly half of the internet for cyberattacks.

The launch of the new Innovation Center, presented an opportunity to chat with John Petrie III, Counselor to the NTT CISO, on the state of cybersecurity and what NTT looks to gain from expanding its Israeli operations.

Over the last few weeks, Israeli entity NSO has been in the headlines for various reasons, bringing up the question of a possible drop in trust in Israeli cyber companies. However, according to John, he sees no reason to worry. “I believe that the Israeli ecosystem for technology startups and specifically Cybersecurity is extremely viable and remains a leader in development of key technologies.”

Cyber security is no longer just a service to add to your business, but the sector represents a must have for enterprises of all sizes. But for how long will the enterprise cyber space remain reliant on top tier human talent, which as we know is at the center of one of the greatest human resource races of all time. John says that “cyber will always need the human element, and the cyber industry must continue to build our talent pool and capabilities. As innovation progresses, cyber solutions are imperatives for business to incorporate as a business function and view cyber as a pillar to success.  Which means as innovation changes the way we do things, so do the attackers change the way they do things and cyber professionals must be able to adapt as quickly as our opposition.”

With the talent race on high, doesn’t this show chaos among the cyber industry? New attacks are in the news everyday, and the technology doesn’t seem to be a complete solution yet. Are cyber companies and experts able to get ahead of attack vectors, or are we just waiting for the next big breach?

“First, events of varying magnitude pop up every day. The state of Cyber globally is challenging for business, especially with everyone working from home around the world. We went from confined attack surfaces to wide attack surfaces overnight as employees moved from office access to remote access.  The key to successful cyber security is the sharing of threat intelligence and understanding the attack sequence and having the ability to react immediately to that threat once identified. We must move from active defense to proactive identification of the threats and act before the attacker has launched an attack. Yes, I believe we can get ahead and even predict new attack vectors and close them on demand in the future,” John adds.

Touching down in Israel, John was excited to get a deeper look at the Israeli ecosystem, and what it has to offer a multinational powerhouse like NTT. “I am very excited about the NTT formally accessing the Israeli Cybersecurity ecosystem, by establishing a new NTT entity called NTT Innovation Laboratory Israel, to focus the NTT Group of companies on various forms of technologies and innovative companies in Israel.  We are very interested in Israeli startups in various stages and rounds to be part of our global solutions strategy.  In just one week I have personally met with more than 30 companies to understand their various technologies and value statements to gain some basic information about how these companies may be able to solve business problems for our clients.”

John Petrie III