Good News Friday

Since I’ve just walked in from our wonderful and much too short vacation in Venice and Rome, this is going to be a rather short Good News Friday installment, but better short than not at all!

With thanks to my reader Reality, here are a couple of interesting items:

Chen Bitan of Cyber-Ark

The Israeli cyber-security company Cyber-Ark makes sure that hackers cannot abuse administrator privileges in computer software:

Many, if not most, of these malicious files are aimed at enterprise and government servers — the computers that run the companies that keep an economy going, and a society functioning. Banks, infrastructure companies, manufacturers, defense institutions — hackers are targeting them all, and unfortunately have had many successes, breaking into computers and stealing everything from credit card information to state security secrets.

But nearly all those attacks have one thing in common, says Chen Bitan, head of Cyber-Ark’s local office. “According to international research firm Deloitte, 100% of sophisticated attacks used privileged accounts to get into critical systems. We prevent attacks simply by choking off access to these accounts, denying hackers the opportunity to use them to break into systems.”


Cyber-Ark was founded in 1999 (by some ex-IDF specialists in cyber-security) and has gone through several iterations. Now, it is the world leader in detecting and defending hacker attacks via privileged accounts, with customers from around the world. If Cyber-Ark’s customer list is a who’s who of the business world, so is the list of investors in the venture-capital based firm — including Seed Capital Partners, Cabaret-ArbaOne, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), JP Morgan/Chase Partners, and Vertex Venture Capital. In December 2011, Cyber-Ark received a $40 million investment round led by Goldman Sachs and JVP. According to Chen, sales for Cyber-Ark are robust, and so is income.

Read the whole thing to understand the ingenuity of these Israeli computer scientists. Kol hakavod to Chen Bitan and all the rest of Cyber-Ark’s team.

Members of Team Israel (l. to r.) Jonathan Moshayov (adviser), Ron Ribtz’in, Daniel Hadas, Ohad Klein, Tom Kalvari, Oren Bakar (trainer). (Photo Credit: Leaf Sharqy)

Staying in the computer field, it is easy to understand where Israel’s cyber-strength comes from when we read that four Israeli students propelled Israel to a top ten ranking in the world Olympics of computer programming:

Israel didn’t do too well in the Summer Olympics, but when it comes to the “computer Olympics,” Team Israel dominates, bringing home gold this week upon its return from the four-day event in Brisbane, Australia.

Besides a gold medal, the four Israeli teens who represented the country won two silver and one bronze — ranking Team Israel as the eighth-best in the world, out of the 80 teams that participated.

The event, properly called the International Olympiad in Informatics, has been going on for 25 years, and was designed to highlight the accomplishments of youth in informatics — also known as computer science. It’s one of five olympiads for high school students in the hard sciences (the others are in mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics) initiated by UNESCO.

This is fantastic news both for these youngsters and for Israel’s future. Kol hakavod to every one of the young people participating, as well as to their teachers and families. May Israel continue to be blessed with champions such as these.

Biowelding process

My final item for today comes from the great No Camels website, who report that a new Israeli Innovation Can Patch Incisions With No Stitching Or Scarring

Every person who has undergone surgery knows the discomfort that comes with stitches and the aesthetically displeasing scars that result from them. They may be relieved to hear an Israeli medical company has come up with a way to close incisions using plasma instead of a needle and thread.

Plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid and gas). Studies have shown that it has the potential to disinfect, control bleeding, treat burns, and weld tissue in surgical situations.

Despite these benefits, there has been only limited use of plasma because of the high temperatures it must be operated in – which can have harmful effects on the body’s tissues.

IonMed is trying to change this with their innovative “cold plasma” technology, BioWeld1. This tool utilizes plasma at 40 degrees Celsius and is safe to use on the human body. The welding procedure takes only a few minutes and seals the area completely. According to IonMed, BioWeld1 leaves only minimal scarring and does not require complex training to operate.

I don’t need to elaborate on the huge advantages of this brilliant innovation. Once again, kol hakavod to Israel’s brilliant scientists and doctors, working to benefit all of humanity.

Before I wish you all Shabbat Shalom may I recommend that you catch up on this week’s posts which I had pre-scheduled before I went on holiday. In particular I would recommend Brian Goldfarb’s guest post about the vindication of Israel in 1948 by those who lived at the time. It is a fascinating insight into recent history.

And now I finally bid you a Shabbat shalom!

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One Response to Good News Friday

  1. Reality says:

    Welcome home! thsi palsma stuff sounds amazing-couldn’t they ahve used an extra biotechie from the family?! This is reallygood news Well done to those clever people who make all our lives easier & well done to you for having the patience to find out about all this stuff after returning home 10 minutes before Shabbat!

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