There’s big money in the security software business. Just a month or two ago, the Israeli-based company, Trusteer, which makes security software to protect data from malware attacks, was acquired by tech giant IBM in a deal rumoured to be worth between $800 million and $1 billion (US).
It’s no surprise that Israeli firms are at the forefront of the security industry – whether it’s at the airport, around infrastructure installations or in the cyber sphere.
Consider the neighbourhood Israel lives in. Israeli firms have long been recognized as pioneers in security arrangements to go along with the country’s reputation as a high-tech innovator. Combining the two has long been an Israeli specialty and recently, Pillar Canada Corporation announced it has been named the Canadian representative of Foresight Prudence, an Israeli company at the forefront of protecting businesses and infrastructure sites from terrorist attacks. The Israeli company employs state-of-the-art systems run on proprietary software programs to protect potential high value targets from terrorist attack, said Arie Raif, president and CEO of Pillar.
“Foresight Prudence fights what is known in our industry as ‘the age of terror.’ We live in an age of terrorism and we fight it on four fronts.”
The company, Raif continued, has particular expertise in suppressing global terrorism, in risk management – coping with “mega-disasters” that result from terrorism or “mega-crimes” – preventing cyber-attacks, and responding to natural disasters.
The protection component presented by the company is capable of assessing dangers, prioritizing responses, mitigating damages and managing incidents.
“In other words, it’s homeland security solutions,” Raif said.
A glance at Foresight Prudence’s Petach Tikvah-based management team quickly demonstrates the company’s security and intelligence expertise was hard earned.
The company’s CEO, Shlomo Mofaz, retired from the Israeli Defence Forces as a colonel after more than 30 years in the intelligence and counterterrorism field. Before founding Foresight Prudence, Mofaz established and managed Insightin LTD, a company specializing in intelligence, command and control, and risk assessment solutions.
Shmuel Sasson, the company’s executive vice-president, served for more than 23 years in the Israel Security Agency – also known as Shin Bet, the country’s internal security force. Among the management positions he held were director of the operations department in the Israeli Dignitary and Official Delegations Protection Unit and regional security director for western Europe, with responsibility for national security abroad. He later served as head of security for El-Al Airlines.
With that sort of pedigree, coupled with the company’s unique software solutions Raif is confident Pillar can appeal to Canadian clients.
“Israeli experience of years of success in fighting terrorism comes into what we are offering,” he said.
“Israel does it best. Experience matters, track record matters, success matters.”
In addition to the expertise offered by Foresight Prudence’s top management, Oren Ben-Tovim “is the brains behind many of the systems developed by Foresight,” Raif stated.
A lieutenant-colonel in the IDF reserves, Ben-Tovim served as the IDF’s chief knowledge officer and head of information and knowledge management.
“He is the brains behind many of the systems developed by Foresight…They’re joined by scientists who have developed protection and risk management systems,” said Raif.
DJ Schneeweiss, Israel’s consul general in Toronto, said the country “has a proven track record with the skills and capacities that are recognized around the world.”
Although he wouldn’t comment on any specific company, he said Israeli experiences are “relevant to every advanced country.”
That goes beyond security considerations to other aspects of its high-tech economy.
“The success of any one company, in its dealings with Canada is good for all. It creates awareness of what Israel has to offer,” he said.
Foresight Prudence has had many high profile clients, but perhaps its biggest project was designing the protection system for the Athens Olympic Games, Raif said.
Raif believes the Canadian market offers numerous potential clients for Pillar. They range from government facilities; the energy sphere; power plants; the aviation sector; the trucking and rail business; critical infrastructure, such as water filtration plants; mining operations; and telecommunications.
And that list is far from exhaustive, said Raif. “Anything that’s an inviting target for terror,” would come under the company’s purview, he said.
“In Canada, Pillar is going to offer the services of Foresight Prudence to make sure that incidents like [the planned Via Rail attack] don’t happen,” he said.
“Those who thought that terrorism is gone, or who believe they have the solution to global terrorism, cyber-terrorism, or mega-crimes, live in a world of illusion. We do not live in some kind of a dream. This is real,” he added.