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Why Israel Is on the Radar of Symantec and Its Peers

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Tech players’ growing interest in cybersecurity

Earlier in this series, we discussed Symantec’s (SYMC) acquisition of Fireglass. Symantec is not the only company that is strengthening its roots in cybersecurity space with Israel-based firms.

This year, Microsoft (MSFT) acquired cybersecurity startups Hexadite and Cloudyn, both of which are based in Israel. In 2015, Microsoft acquired Israel-based cybersecurity firms Secure Islands and Adallom for ~$80 million and ~$320 million, respectively. In late 2014, Microsoft acquired Aorata, a hybrid cloud security startup.

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Israel (ISL) (EIS) seems to be on Microsoft’s radar for investment in the cybersecurity space. According to an IDC (International Data Corporation) report released earlier this year, global revenues for security-related solutions and offerings are expected to grow 8.2% to reach $81.7 billion in 2017.

Israel is a hotbed of cybersecurity

Israel is home to almost 300 cybersecurity companies. CyberArk (CYBR) and Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP) are among the well-established cybersecurity companies with roots in Israel. Tax breaks and the Israeli government’s funding programs have provided a fertile environment for startups to grow.

Apart from being home to several distinguished cybersecurity startups, Israel is enabling countries like Singapore in developing a robust digital infrastructure capable of protecting against sophisticated cyberattacks. In 2016, Israel exported $6.5 billion in cybersecurity offerings, which convinced more than 30 multinational corporations to open local R&D centers in the country. Microsoft has three R&D centers in Israel.

At Tel-Aviv University’s 7th Annual Cybersecurity Conference, held in late June 2017, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, said, “In 2016, we had about 20% of the global private cyber security investment.”

Looking at the growth expected in the cybersecurity space and Israel being a strong player in this space, it is understandable why Symantec, Microsoft, and other technology players are flocking toward it.

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