I work with ex-IDF cyber specialists and have always been impressed at how much care the country takes of its soldiers with special programs to help them startup new businesses (which is why so many cybersecurity businesses have R&D in Tel Aviv). Now they’re equipping the non-specialists with cyber skills as well…:
At the end of last year, some 30 combat soldiers in the Israeli army took part in a very different activity from those they’d been tasked with on the field. They sat down behind computers and took a course in how to fight hackers in the cyber sphere.
“We gave them an entry card to the world of cybersecurity,” said Captain R., head of the IDF’s National Cyber Defense training center, who’s in charge of a new program called Cyber Accessibility. The seven-week program handpicked 30 combat soldiers at the end of their three-year compulsory army service and gave the basic tech skills to provide cybersecurity services to organizations.
They graduated the course earlier this month, passing tests given to them by the Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, said Captain R., who could not be identified by name for security purposes. “We gave them a passage back into the world” of civilian life, he said.
Unlike graduates of the IDF’s intelligence and cybersecurity units — who are courted by Israeli and multinational tech companies while they are still in uniform, and swooped up as they leave the military into high-paying jobs — combat soldiers, after years of putting their lives on the line, often enter university or the job market without the skills they need.