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Inside Israeli Technology

Browsing Posts tagged data security

Last week Google threatened to pull out of China after Google internal systems were infiltrated by hackers. In the aftermath of the news, there has been extensive media coverage of the challenges of doing business in China and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has received most of the blame for the security lapse.

Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Amichai Shulman of the data security company Imperva in Israel has been paying close attention to the security breach and after first suggesting last week that the likely attack methods “were sending mail containing malware to Google employees” or “through a vulnerability in Google’s web servers” strongly questions a claim by McAfee that Internet Explorer had a major role in the attack.

Shulman’s skepticism is based on three main points. The first is that it is unlikely that Google employees would be using IE and not Chrome which is Google’s browser. The second is that the sophistication of the attack requires network and not browser vulnerabilities:

“To execute an attack this sophisticated, it likely occurred as a result of spear phishing Google employees to gain access to Google users credentials. A hacker would have to jump through many hoops inside an internal network. This requires network—not browser—vulnerabilities so that the attacker can communicate with malware inside Google’s internal network.”

Shulman’s third point is that despite the likeliness of the problem being network weaknesses, countries, including France and Germany, are now recommending that citizens use other browsers instead of Internet Explorer.

Considering these three points, Shulman asks the interesting question, “Could this be a clever way to boost Google Chrome downloads?”

Last month Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar, a professional services firm under the interational Deloitte brand in Israel, released its annual list of Israel’s top 50 fastest growing technology companies for 2009 based on percentage revenue growth over a five-year period. Fifteen software companies ranging from security to finance to storage made the list. Below is the top 10 software companies on the list and a little more about them. Will you be using any of these companies’s technologies in 2010?

Red Bend software

redbend_logoRed Bend Software is considered to be a market leader in Mobile Software Management and Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) update solutions. Founded in 1999, Red Bend Software offers solutions that give phone users more control over what software components they want on their phones while also increasing the data service revenues of phone carriers. The main solutions include firmware updates, software component updates and data management.


imperva_logo1Imperva is an application data security company that was founded in 2002 by Amichai Shulman and Check Point Software co-founder Shlomo Kramer. The company was named to Red Herring’s Top 100 in 2007 and grew by more than 80% in 2008.  Its success during the recession has been attributed to its software helping customers cut costs. Imperva’s products include the SecureSphere Data Security Suite, SecureSphere Web Application Firewall and Database Activity Monitoring.


infogin_logoInfoGin was founded in 2000 by Eran Wyler after he foresaw the “need for surfing the real Internet on any mobile device.” Over the years, InfoGin has become a leader in “Web-to-mobile content adaptation, enabling mobile users to access any Web site they desire, optimized to their mobile device.” The company’s Internet Mobile Platform (IMP) technology is currently being implemented by several major companies, including Virgin Mobile (UK) and MapQuest.


Israeli data protection company, Safend offers products for data encryption and port and device control. Founded in 2003, Safend in 2009 was also named to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection. The company also rounded out its suite adding Safend Inspector and Discoverer to Safend Reporter, Safend Encryptor and Safend Protector.


pineapp_logoPineApp is an e-mail and content systems security provider. Founded in 2002 by Gabriel Mizrahi and headquartered in Israel, PineApp’s products enhances email security by protecting against email-based spam and virus attacks. Its products include Mail-SeCure, Surf-SeCure and Secure SoHo. Earlier this month the company introduced two new products to its line, Mail-Encryption and Archive-SeCure.

Commtouch Software

commtouch_logoFounded in 1991, Commtouch develops software to protect e-mail by offering spam and Zero-Hour™ virus outbreak protection. Its anti-spam solutions feature its Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) technology and have been licensed by over 80 security and messaging vendors and providers including Aladdin, Check Point, Fujitsu and LG N-Sys.


Zend offers products and services for developing, deploying, and managing business-critical PHP applications. The company was founded by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Surask and its customers include McAfee, UPI and IBM. In September 2009, Zend along with its partners, IBM and Microsoft, announced a new initiative for PHP developers who are working on cloud-focused apps. Its products include Zend Server, Zend Platform and Zend Core.

IDIT I.D.I. Technologies

IDIT Technologies was founded in 1998 and offers SOA-based software solutions for the insurance industry. In July 2009 Forrester Research named the company among the hot insurance tech companies to watch in 2009, mainly for its multi-language and currency support innovations. The IDIT software suite addresses the specific end-to-end needs of general insurance for the insurance and financial markets including Business Intelligence, Workflow Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). IDIT’s R&D center is headed by Lilia Waserman and its customers include Alfa Insurance and RAC Insurance.


PNMSoft is a Business Process Management (BPM) and workflow software provider. Founded in 1996, PNMSoft provides customers, such as Amdocs, Microsoft and Philips, with solutions to better manage content and businesses from start to finish. PNMSoft’s poducts include SEQUENCE BPM workflow software based on Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation platform. The company currently has an R&D center currently in Israel and was a Microsoft 2009 SOA and Business Process Partner of the Year Finalist.


VIZrt offers content production tools for the digital media industry. It was founded in 2000 and some of its clients include Fox, CBS and The Globe and Mail. Along with its products Viz Content Pilot and Viz Artist, VIZrt also offers mobile solutions. In 2008, Vizrt acquired Escenic.


During the week of November 29, 2009 the biggest headline was IBM’s acquisition of database security and compliance company, Guardium. Dune was purchased by Broadcom and VMware is planning to double its workforce in Israel. For these stories and more, check below for this week’s 9 Israel-related headlines.

1. Capstone and Israel’s HelioFocus Get Grants To Fire Up Solar Powered Micro-Turbines

2. Broadcom To Acquire Dune For $178 Million

3. IBM buys database security firm Guardium

Information Technology
4. Thanks to Israel, ‘the Cloud’ will be safer

5. VMware doubles Israeli R&D workforce

5. Red Bend Software Named One of the Most Important Companies in M2M for 2010

7. Israeli firm Emblaze sues Apple claiming iPhone streaming ‘patent infringement’

8. Israeli tech firms are coming back home

9. Twitter, Amiando, Obopay, And Playfish Are Named Technology Pioneers By The World Economic Forum (Amobee and Innovid)


During the week of November 22, 2009, Else, formerly Emblaze Mobile, revealed the first Linux-based smartphone. A possible iPhone killer, the device focuses on the user-experience first. SupportSpace announced it raised $10 million in funding and IBM acquired database security start-up, Guardium.For these stories and more, check below.

1. Preparing for Copenhagen: What can Israel expect?

2. US-Israel $3.3 m. energy cooperation

Investments and M&A
3. IBM to buy start-up Guardium for $225 million: report

4. SupportSpace Raises $10 Million Series B

Information Technology
5. Emblaze Mobile launch First Else Linux-based phone

6. Check Point Software focuses on virtualization and data centres

7. Six cities that beat the Big Apple?

8. Tonight in Tel Aviv: Twitter’s Biz Stone talks about the triumph of humanity

9. IBM wooed Guardium for almost a year

Using their own independent studies, VeriSign and Israel-based Discertix both recently released the smartphone security trends they expect to see in 2010.

According to VeriSign CTO, Kenneth Silva, who recently spoke in Seoul about the likely mobile device threats in 2010,

“An attack on the mobile device operating system will affect the phone contacts, mobile banking log-ins and passwords and any other valuable information stored on the device”

Smartphone sales are expected to beat PC sales for the first time in 2011.

Smartphone sales are expected to beat PC sales for the first time in 2011.

The opportunities for cyber criminals to penetrate mobile devices are the results of:

  • More phone applications needing updates which can pose an opening for phishing scams
  • An increase in jail broken phones, which compromises the operating system as an example.

Silva explains that these vulnerabilities can lead to “deliberate Denial of Service attacks, extortion, and corporate espionage as threats for 2010” and has as such become a national priority for several countries including Israel, the U.S. and the U.K

Research by Discretix, an embedded security solutions company, indicates that smartphones already make up 25% of the market and might reach 40% market share in the next 5 years.

In addition to finding the same threats posed by applications and an open OS that VeriSign did, Discretix has also listed:

  • Some of the new OSs (e.g. Android) are open source, missing the traditional safeguards and closed environment of other real time operating systems
  • Also the devices are multi-use with massive storage capacity, moving data and applications freely between the enterprise and the home

Despite the seriousness of these threats, a survey conducted by security software firm Trend Micro that was released in August 2009 indicated that 44% of mobile phone users considered Web surfing on a smartphone to be “as safe, if not safer, than doing so on their PC” and “only 23 percent of smartphone owners use security software already installed on their smartphones.”

Discretix was one of the fastest growing Israeli companies in 2008 and 2009 according to Deloitte Brightman Almagor Zohar and will deliver Open Mobile Alliance DRM capabilities to HTC Windows Mobile and Google Android handsets.


During the week of September 6, 2009, IQWind was named a top 100 cleantech company and Tufin Technologies, among other security companies, found that phishing scams are increasing again with the end of summer. IBM Israel played a major role in developing SAPIR, a video and photo search technology that the company claims is better than the methods used by Google and Yahoo. For more on these stories and the rest of this week’s 11 technology headlines, see below.

1. Bechtel to Build Solar Plant in California

2. Israel-based SolarEdge looking for PV system partners in Taiwan

3. IQwind Ltd. Named a Global Cleantech 100Clean Technology Company

Information Technology
4. IBM, European Researchers Develop Multimedia Search Tool

5. As summer ends, phishing season is on the horizon

6. Behavioral Targeting Cozies Up To Video Ads

7. Xeround pushes database virtualisation as integration tool

8. Visual WebGui: Reaching for the top cloud

9. Did Israel’s Mossad snatch a Russian arms shipment to Iran?

10. Feeling the pinch

11. Diagnosing lung cancer through a simple exhale

Tufin Technologies, which provides Security Lifecycle Management solutions, has really picked up steam since the beginning of the year. The company, which is five years old, has won three awards in recent weeks and recently attended the RSA conference (the largest infosec conference of its kind) in San Francisco, where the above video was recorded.

Last week it announced that its flagship product, SecureTrack, was named Best Enterprise Security Solution by SC Magazine UK, and received an honorable mention as the Best Security Management Solution.

According to Tufin’s Website, 

“Tufin’s Security Lifecycle Management solutions automate policy management for leading firewall and networking vendors including Check Point Software, Juniper, Cisco, Fortinet, F5 and BlueCoat, resulting in more manageable, efficient and cost effective security operations. Its flagship product SecureTrack, helps security operations teams to control and manage policy changes, analyze risks, and ensure business continuity. With SecureTrack, managers easily understand the big picture and align operations with corporate and Government security standards.”

 Tufin also made InformationWeek’s Startup 50 list of young companies recognized for delivering innovative, high value, enterprise ready solutions and was named best Security Lifecycle Management Solution by InfoSecurity Products Guide.

In addition to SecureTrack, the company offers SecureChange Workflow and the newly-released (at the RSA conference), Tufin Open Platform (TOP).


During the week of April 19, 2009, sinkhole and solar farm technologies were hot topics in cleantech. In Information Technology, it was a big week for Israeli information security companies such as Check Point, AlgoSec, Commtouch and others, who were present at the annual RSA Conference on security. For links to these stories and more, you can find the 13 Israel-related headlines from the week of April 19, 2009 below.

Cleantech and Environment

1. We have the technology to monitor sinkholes

2. Israel solar farm to supply hot water

Investments and Economy

3. Israeli entrepreneurs see U.S. economy as early warning system

4. International credit crunch shifts Israeli business focus in China

5. VC crunch continues: BlueRun Ventures falls short of $300M target

Information Technology

6. Commtouch Unveils New Security Center Web Site

7. A conversation with Check Point’s Gil Schwed

8. Cryptography Experts Warn Of Cloud Security Risks

9. PeerTV announces MX 3.0 Content Management Tool

10. AlgoSec Releases FireFlow(TM) Into Public Availability


11. Israel Consults on Possible 3G Spectrum Auction

12. Most Israeli students stumped by high school math

13. 60 Minutes on cold fusion

sentrigologoSentrigo, an Israel-based database security software company, announced last week that it has become the sole distributor of Repscan by Red-Database-Security, “the only 360-degree database vulnerability assessment and security scanning software available for Oracle databases.”

The move helps Sentrigo solidify its hold on the database security market by complementing its Hedgehog database activity monitoring software with software that monitors and identifies Oracle database weaknesses and vulnerablities. In specific, Repscan can “detect insecure PL/SQL code and forensic traces; database modifications; insecure system configuration settings; and weak, shared and default passwords.”

Some main Repscan features include: 

  • Report-driven penetration testing
  • Altered data detection (privileged and user tables)
  • Forensic trace discovery from common security and hacker tools
  • Automatic conversion of the weaknesses found by Repscan into protection rules and policies in the Sentrigo Hedgehog Database Security Suite


According to Sentrigo’s website, Hedgehog Enterprise

“is for organizations that require breach prevention, end-user identification, virtual patching, integration with your existing security infrastructure, IT governance and operate with enterprise-wide database deployment.”

The software also

“provides full visibility into all database activity including local privileged access, protects the database in real-time with actionable alerts and prevention capabilities, and allows enterprises to enforce security policy and comply with regulatory requirements, such as PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley, SAS 70 and HIPAA.”

As an aside, Oracle is currently in talks to purchase Sun Microsystems for over $7 billion and enter the hardware market.

The 2009 RSA Conference kicked off yesterday in San Francisco. As the conference is the biggest annual information security one in the world and Israel is a leader in the field, several Israeli companies are present this year as sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees. Some of the companies exhibiting and attending include:

Hot topics expected to be discussed in depth throughout the conference are cloud computing security, conficker worm and the conflict between national security concerns online and the protection of citizen’s rights.

Though reports indicate that overall attendance at the conference this year is significantly lower than in previous years due to the state of the economy and companies cutting back, it is unclear how this has impacted participation and attendance among Israeli companies compared to past years.