By @SimonCocking. Interesting interview with Lior Tabansky, Cyber Power scholar at the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC) and the Former Director of Strategy in Tel-Aviv-based cybersecurity consultancy firm CSG brings to the table a refreshing interdisciplinary approach to cybersecurity, uniquely facilitated by his Political Science & Security Studies expertise, 15 years of hands-on IT-Pro practice, and high-level think-tank, policy and corporate experience.

Recently, Lior has written an insightful and timely book – Cybersecurity in Israel – co-authored with Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel and published by Springer. This comprehensive yet concise work offers an “insider” strategic analysis of Israeli cyber power, with invaluable lessons to be learned by governments and corporations alike. We interviewed Lior at Philip Lee in Dublin on May 11th when we conducted a fire-side chat with him and a room full of cyber experts.


1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

I’m looking for new opportunities. I have just finished two major projects: my dissertation and the consulting project. The dissertation in Political Science/International Relations tackled this question: Why even the most developed nations remain so dreadfully exposed to physically destructive attacks on strategic homeland targets by foreign states? Governments’ cybersecurity responsibilities vary across the U.S., Israel and Singapore, but neither Ministry of Defense are responsible for the cybersecurity of civilian targets.
Advanced Security Studies scholarship has previously demonstrated how, and why, defense establishments repeatedly resisted drastic changes and avoided profound adaptation. But this scholarship has not been utilized adequately in cybersecurity context and its lessons unexploited. The problem lies in defense maladaptation. I Refute the “commonsense” explanations for cyber-insecurity. I developed an improved conceptual framework for cybersecurity, building upon the ?existing corpus of Security Studies knowledge.

How was the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

It was great, I got to implement my ideas in practice. I designed a foreign national strategy. The government agency in a developed rich country, hired me commercially to advise on national cyber strategy. The experience was great: I had sincere discussions with all the leadership. I drove the point that cyber is well beyond IT-security: it depends on organisational change, innovation ecosystem, novel governance approaches and much more. I also tried to show that cyber is a national opportunity – not merely risk management. Comparing my report and the eventual official strategy, I feel I made a significant contribution.

What were the key topics you covered at this event?

Cybersecurity in Israel: strategy, innovation ecosystem, organisation

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

These people on twitter I find useful and insightful:

@NigelInkster , @RobertMLee, @ILDannyMoore
@pasieronen, @inbarraz, @edwardlucas, @RidT

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

I try to do outreach, media – not just research. I also have a website

The main projects are:
Cybersecurity theory development in strategic context: what can be done with the new options for national purposes. Hostile Influence Operations via Social Media: A Cybersecurity issue?

More about cyber security

Ireland has the second highest demand for cybersecurity professionals in the world, second only to Israel. This reflects a booming Irish technology and business hub, with more than 1200 multinational companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Dell, having significant operations in Ireland. Ireland’s reputation as a leading global tech hub could be under threat due to the severe shortage of cybersecurity expertise. The question remains- are we prepared?

Israel is known for its thriving high-tech industry and is widely regarded as world leader in cybersecurity. Israel has a well-established national cyber bureau as well as a multifaceted cybersecurity eco-system comprising government, academia and the private sector.

For queries, please email [email protected]

Twitter information | @PhilipLeeLaw


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