As cyber threats against Israel continue to increase, the IDF and Ministry of Defense are upgrading their networks in a multi-million- shekel three-year deal with Cisco Systems. The three-year deal has a twoyear extension option.

Cisco Systems will supply several hundred million shekels worth of servers as well as supply installment and support services for the systems through Bynet, an Israeli company responsible for the success of the project on Cisco’s behalf, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Cisco Israel general manager Oren Sagi said that “the systems chosen in the tender ensure operational continuity and technological superiority in the long term.”

According to the statement by the Defense Ministry, Cisco won the bid because it was substantially lower than the bids of any other company and was also lower than the current costs.

Eliezer Hasson, the senior deputy for intelligence and telecommunications of the Defense Ministry Procurement and Production Directorate, said that “the tender results constitute a saving of tens of millions of shekels for the Defense Ministry.”

Earlier this month, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot authorized the continuation of the IDF’s strengthening of its cyber units, with the army investing billions of shekels in the coming years, a senior military officer said.

While Israel remains one of the top countries in cyber defense, there are many needed updates in the field of telecommunications, according to the senior officer.

“We want to develop better operational thinking than in the past for the IDF’s offensive capabilities, and how we can better integrate cyber into the IDF’s capabilities,” the senior officer said, adding that “there is a real threat to our cyber defense – we’re likely to be harmed, so we’re investing in defense first.”