"We recognize an increase in the focus and effectiveness of attacks. Hackers today work in shifts and act like a business organization for all intents and purposes to bring ROI on their effort," said Dr. Yaniv Harel, SVP Cyber Defense at Signia, speaking at a conference on the future of cyber and fintech in Israel.
Harel was one of the guests of the MasterCard and ENEL X Finsec Innovation Lab, which was recently established in Be'er Sheva. Last week’s conference was attended by representatives from startup companies, investors from venture capital funds and other important players from the industry to discuss the challenges in the cyber and fintech industries and the newest trends.
As Eran Levy, CEO of ENEL X Israel, emphasized, the main goal of the lab is to implement projects in collaboration with startups through an accelerated process with the business divisions at MasterCard and Enel X. These projects will optimize the accessibility of the technology to the market through an optimal “Product Market Fit” in the shortest possible time.
The conference was attended by experts who presented the value they bring to startups in Israel and the need for innovative solutions to continue to lead the industry in the country. Among the speakers was Rahav Shalom-Revivo from the Ministry of Finance's Cyber, Emergency and Security System Department, who was also named in the "100 Top Women in Global Tech" list of fintech website LATTICE80, Gil Arazi, founder and partner of venture capital fund FinTLV, Dr. Yaniv Harel, SVP at Sygnia, Eran Levy, CEO of ENEL Israel and Omar Unger, CEO of MasterCard Israel.
Laboratory CEO, Sydney Gottesman explained that both MasterCard and Enel X have global capabilities which have proven to identify and lead true innovation. The lab enables the two companies to combine resources, knowledge, and efforts, and work together with startups in Israel to move the cyber and fintech worlds forward.
Gil Arazi, founder and partner of the venture capital fund FinTLV, stated that "I would not say there is a 'bubble’, but investors should pay attention to business models and invest in companies that have the potential to become “Cash Positive”. Investors must keep an eye on investment and valuations.” Arazi went on to say that he can predict at the first meeting the success or failure of the entrepreneurs and if they have the "killer instinct" and a deep understanding of the required business world. “We are looking for entrepreneurs who have a record, even if they have failed in the past, but also know how to make changes in the process."
According to Rahav Shalom-Revivo of the Ministry of Finance's Cyber, Emergency and Security System Department: "The ministry leads unique activities that protect the cyber world in the financial system in Israel. The integration between the abilities of the Ministry of Finance, the national cyber field, and the financial sector in their support for Israeli fintech and cyber startups brings great added value. The advantage of the startup lab is expressed in its ability to support the laboratory and the startup companies in which relevant knowledge, expertise and information can be shared, as well as connectivity between organizations at the national and international level to promote this issue.”
The Finsec Innovation Lab works in collaboration with the Israel Innovation Authority, the Ministry of Finance, the financial CERT, and the national cyber system and focuses on innovative and groundbreaking startups in the fields of fintech and cyber.