IDF improves information security

Illustrative photo

Infractions have decreased in the past year, as the IDF (Zahal) has increased its security checks – including with a cutting-edge system for checking websites for leaks

Date: 13/01/2013, 5:34 PM     Author: Lee Yaron, Bamahane

The IDF (Zahal)’s Information Security Unit has significantly increased its security checks for personnel exposed to sensitive information, the Unit’s statistics from 2012 show.

The Information Security Unit found that the past year has seen a significant improvement in the IDF (Zahal)’s process of carrying out security checks, due in part to the training in information security matters that takes place in schools for officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers dealing with such matters – training carried out in conjunction with the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet security service).

These statistics also indicated that the IDF (Zahal) performed 25 percent more polygraph tests last year than in 2011. The number of polygraph tests carried out annually is expected to double in the next four years.

“The number of information-related infractions is decreasing, and most of them are not committed willfully,” a source within the Information Security Unit told Bamahane magazine, adding that “nonetheless, the number of infractions is still large and therefore in the past year we have raised the extent of the training in information security, for soldiers and for officers.”

This source added that the risks of information leaks are increasing and that new threats to information security are emerging. “Enemy and foreign intelligence officials are leading an extended effort to collect information about the Israeli security establishment, particularly the IDF (Zahal),” he said. “Against this backdrop, many tools are being used to collect intelligence and in the past year we have identified many efforts in the cyber realm and a widespread attempt to eavesdrop on IDF (Zahal) networks and on cellular phones.”

This source predicted that such efforts will continue in the coming year.

In recent months, the Information Security Unit has launched a new system identifying incidents with potential for leaking information over the Internet. This system has extensive capabilities to find potential leaks on websites, including social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as news sites. In case of a possible leak, this system immediately alerts the Information Security Unit.