Lior Tabansky Tel Aviv University

Italy, 22/10/2018
Così le democrazie occidentali possono arginare la disinformazione di Mosca
Forum Transatlantico sulla Russia tenutosi oggi al Centro Studi Americani

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Italy, 2018
Iran’s Cybered Warfare Meets Western Cyber-Insecurity

Chapter 5 in: Fabio Rugge (ed.) Confronting an "Axis of Cyber"?  ISPI (Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale), Italy 2018

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August 10, 2018
Cybered conflict in the Middle East
Cyber power has a vast geopolitical potential. Cyber technology is increasingly inseparable from all instruments of power, including diplomacy, information, economy and military. The decreasing significance of geographic proximity for the nature of interstate conflict in cyber space demands a major conceptual shift in defense. In the following discussion paper, Kristina Kausch and Lior Tabansky summarize some of the challenges arising from cybered conflict in the Middle East and outline possible trends.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung - Regional Program Political Dialogue and Regional Integration South Mediterranean,  MEDITERRANEAN DIALOGUE SERIES 15 report on The Future of Middle Eastern Cyber Warfare.  
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Ecco tutti i rischi (reali) della disinformazione online
An overview of central scientific foundations of hostile influence operations, in Italian

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Building cybersecurity system in Poland: Israeli experience

How to succeed in providing national cybersecurity? This question tops policy agendas for many European governments – and rightly so. Israel is acknowledged as a global cybersecurity leader, encompassing strategy, defense, research, capacity building, technology, entrepreneurship and human capital. Comprehensive cybersecurity for the civilian sector has become the focus of Israeli policy, as sectorial cybersecurity matured in defense, government and Critical Infrastructure has been achieved. Having studied and contributed to the development of several national cyber strategies for years, we have developed a unique analysis on which this chapter builds.

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Lior Tabansky
Sticking to their Guns: The Missing RMA for Cybersecurity
Military Cyber Affairs | Volume 3, Issue 1 (2018)


Why has cybered conflict disrupted the security of the most developed nations? A foreign adversary contemplating an attack on a developed nation's heartland certainly faces multiple state-run military-grade lines of defense on land, sea and air. A foreign adversary launching a direct cyber-attack on a non-military homeland target will meet none. Armed forces do not shield a society from cyber-attacks originated by foreign adversaries, no longer provide a buffer between the enemy and homeland, nor can they identify the attacker after an attack occurred.

Adversaries succeed in waging cybered conflict against the U.S. and its allies. Having repeatedly inflicted economic and social harm while evading retaliation, adversaries become brazen. To prevail in cybered conflict, we need to return to the very foundations of our defense.

However, profound defense adaptation is especially problematic for dominant militaries. To develop my argument, I turn to analyze a Stuxnet-like scenario using the Revolution in ‎Military Affairs (RMA) concept of Security Studies and the paradigm shift concept of philosophy of science. Security Studies theory, philosophy of science and empirical evidence all suggest that profound defense adaptation demands pressure from outside the expert organization. I argue that Security Studies theory and empirical evidence, including Israel’s defense adaptation following short-range rocket threat, suggest that civilian outsiders coalescing with military partners can successfully drive defense adaptation.

To secure the Western world order, the U.S. and its allies need to rearrange their security forces, leveraging the experience accumulated through centuries.

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Lior Tabansky
Cybered Influence Operations: towards a scientific research agenda
Democrazia Security Policy Library - The Norwegian Atlantic Comittee 2017

Sikkerhetspolitisk bibliotek

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Lior Tabansky
Democrazia digitale: la seconda fase | Mondadori & Panorama, Italy, 2018
In edited e-book

Download book

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Lior Tabansky,
Cyber Security Challenges: The Israeli Water Sector Example.
Chapter 10 in:
Cyber-physical Security: Protecting Critical Infrastructure at the State and Local Level.
Clark, Robert M., Hakim, Simon (Eds.), 2016

Critical infrastructure protection spans an increasing number of publicly and privately owned nondefense entities. As cyberspace continued to expand, securing society requires a comprehensive approach to include business sector cooperation with all levels of government. More attention must be devoted to activities and facilities not only on the national but also on the municipal level. This will require nontraditional governance approaches to complement the usual top– down national regulation. We discuss recent cyber security policy developments in Israel, and move on to discuss future cyber security challenges using water supply as an example.

Lior Tabansky,
Cyber Power in the Changing Middle East
​Turkish Policy Quarterly,
Spring 2016​

Lior Tabansky,
Critical Infrastructure Protection: Evolution of Israeli Policy
International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism (IJCWT), Volume 3, Issue 3, 80-87,
July-September 2013

This article presents the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) policy in Israel and analyses its evolution. Israel has established a centralist national critical infrastructure protection system in late 2002, which was implemented rather harmoniously. However, the evolving cyber-environment has led to renewed discussions. After years of discontent, a comprehensive review of national cyber-posture has been conducted in 2011. Significant policy changes, fostering coordinated cooperation between public, security, academic and private sectors, are now in progress. This examination of the Israeli CIP approach may assist policy-making in other countries.

Lior Tabansky,
'Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy: the Israeli Experience'
Journal of Information Warfare, Volume 12, Issue 3,
October 2013

Cyber Warfare holds a grave hazard of striking national infrastructure while circumventing traditional defense systems. This article examines the evolution of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) policy in Israel and analyses its performance.
Israel has developed a unique legal and regulatory model for critical infrastructure protection, which was implemented in late 2002.
Recently, a comprehensive review of cyber security posture has been conducted, and significant policy changes are in progress.
The Israeli approach to CIP and beyond, fostering cooperation between public, security, academic and private sectors, appears to be successful.

Lior Tabansky,
Cybercrime: A National Security Issue?
Military and Strategic Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 3,
December 2012

Currently, cybercrime is hardly significant beyond the realms of IT risk management and law enforcement. Having established that, the following analysis illuminates two emerging menaces of cybercrime for national security.
Measurement of the extent and costs of cybercrime is a genuine challenge, and the torrent of periodical reports produced by interested parties does little to contribute to our understanding. Widespread monetary estimates of cybercrime damage are unreliable and upward biased.
If cybercrime reach and volume will continue to grow uninterrupted - the sheer scale might escalate its social-political impact to the highest level. Despite the claims of cyberspace's transnational nature, the national governments will have to react in order to fulfill their part of the Social Contract: the states' responsibility for security.
Critical infrastructure protection (CIP) is perhaps the single most significant issue in cyber security. Cybercrime exacerbates this elusive threat. The Crimeware as a Service (CaaS) model caters not only to script-kiddies and carders. The comfortable existence of this DarkMarket enables even marginal groups to acquire almost state-like cyber-attack capabilities.
The rising volume of cybercrime and the obtainability of state-like capabilities on the market require a reconsideration of cybercrime in the national security perspective. Sooner than later, states will have to step in these novel realms. Governments need to work together with businesses and the academia to reduce the real risk of cybercrime, while balancing conflicting values and social needs.

ליאור טבנסקי, "פשע קיברנטי כסיכון לביטחון הלאומי?" צבא ואסטרטגיה כרך 4 גיליון 3, דצמבר 2012

Lior Tabansky,
'International Cooperation in Critical Infrastructure Protection Against Cyber Threats'
Atlantic Voices, Volume 2, Issue 9
Sep. 2012

The central challenge in protecting critical infrastructures from cyber threats is the global character of the threat. However, the global nature of Cyberspace renders even the best possible National-level policy incomplete. The major recommendation is to leverage the existing frameworks of cooperation to build trust and facilitate information exchange, consultation and cooperation.
The numerous vectors provided by NATO and EU can provide the members with a significant advantage for CIP, even without additional formal arrangements.

Isaac Ben Israel, Lior Tabansky,
An Interdisciplinary Look at Security Challenges in the Information Age
Military and Strategic Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 3,
December 2011

A basic theoretical understanding of the information age is essential in order to consider cyber security issues. This study aims to encourage interdisciplinary research into the cyber security challenges, contribute to the development of an informed national security policy, and thereby contribute to security and prosperity in the information age.
This article relies on ideas by philosopher Karl Popper, futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler, and economist Paul Romer to illuminate some characteristics of the information age and to clarify the issues that emerge when technological development interfaces with national security. The problems in dealing with security challenges are a function of the characteristics of cyberspace: rapid action, the rate of change, intricacy, and complexity. The key development is not “information warfare”; it is computer warfare in cyberspace.

יצחק בן-ישראל, ליאור טבנסקי "מבט בינתחומי על אתגרי הביטחון בעידן המידע ." צבא ואסטרטגיה כרך 3 גיליון 3, דצמבר 2011

Lior Tabansky,
Critical Infrastructure Protection from Cyber Threats
Military and Strategic Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 2,
November 2011

A functioning modern society depends on a complex tapestry of infrastructures. The article introduces the subject of critical infrastructures, and discusses the origins, uniqueness, and innovativeness of the threat to them. The cyber threat to critical infrastructure is perhaps the most significant issue in the realm of cyber security. Although at first glance, it appears that the subject of critical infrastructure protection belongs in the realm of computer engineering, we show it should be expanded beyond the technical aspect. Indeed, the major challenge in protecting critical infrastructures from cyber threats is not technical, but political.
We discuss levels of coping with the threat, using conceptual parallels to the world of military content. The existing Israeli response is presented briefly, with an emphasis on the central challenges the cyber threat poses to public policy. Finally , directions for future research and action are proposed.

ליאור טבנסקי, "הגנה על תשתיות קריטיות מפני איום קיברנטי". צבא ואסטרטגיה כרך 3 גיליון 2, נובמבר 2011
Lior Tabansky,
Basic Concepts in Cyber Warfare
Military and Strategic Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 1,
May 2011

This article focuses on the question of national security in light of the cyberspace phenomenon.
In light of the lack of conceptual clarity regarding cyber security, the article proposes explanations and operative definitions.
We review the properties of cyberspace and the existing weaknesses and threats, and present the problems of defense, attack, and deterrence in cyberspace.

ליאור טבנסקי, "לחימה במרחב הקיברנטי: מושגי יסוד." צבא ואסטרטגיה כרך 3 גיליון 1, מאי 2011

ליאור טבנסקי,
הפקולטה למדעי החברה ע"ש גרשון גורדון, בית הספר לממשל ולמדיניות ע"ש הרולד הרטוך
"המאבק בטרור בעידן המידע: ' אינתיפאדת המתאבדים' 2000 - 2005 וההתמודדות הישראלית עמה בסיוע טכנולוגיות עילית"
פורסם: 02 07 2007

ANTI-TERRORISM STRUGGLE IN THE INFORMATION AGE: Palestinian Suicide Bombers and the Implementation of High Technologies in Israel’s Response, 2000-2005 Hebrew

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