NightDragon founder Dave DeWalt

DeWalt on defense: "The war is an opportunity to invest in Israel"

The founder of the NightDragon investment fund, who is considered one of the top cyber people in the U.S., expresses his support for Israel after the terrorist attack of October 7 and even wants to visit soon: "I stand by Israel 100 percent." He believes the security failure was not the fault of the intelligence and says he will expand his investment in Israel

"The war is an opportunity to expand investments in Israel. We will expand the capital here," says Dave DeWalt, one of the top cyber and security experts in the United States, in a conversation with Calcalist.
DeWalt, who is currently the head of the NightDragon investment fund which he founded, was previously aa CEO at a number of giant American companies such as McAfee and FireEye, which he brought to revenues of about a billion dollars.
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דייב דה וולט מייסד קרן NightDragon
דייב דה וולט מייסד קרן NightDragon
NightDragon founder Dave DeWalt
(Photo: NightDragon)
Already during his time as CEO, and even more so since he founded the investment company, he is very involved in the local cyber market and is considered close to many senior executives in the industry. His fund currently manages about a billion dollars and is invested in several Israeli cyber companies, some of them in collaboration with Team8.
"I feel outrage and astonishment," DeWalt says of the terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7. "Astonishment at the success of the terrorists, and outrage at everything that happened there. I have enormous empathy for the State of Israel and the people there. I have many friends who were hurt, people I know and am connected to."
What should be the response of the State of Israel?
"I fully support Israel and the steps it takes. The terror organization Hamas needs to be wiped out forever. This has gone on for too long, and a strong response is important and required. It is important to stress that this is a danger and ensure that it will never happen again. I stand behind Israel with all my might."
Will you continue to invest in Israel?
"I will expand my capital, my support, and my involvement in Israel. This event is an opportunity to invest in Israel. Defense and security opportunities will be created in the world, not only in Israel. We will be much more involved in Israel, and we will look for ways to create more good companies in Israel like the ones I invested in in the past.”
Did the capabilities of cyber and intelligence disappoint in the current war?
"We know how good Israel and the United States are, but attackers will always find a weakness. We saw it on September 11, when we had the best intelligence and a catastrophe still happened. This is an example of how both Israel and the United States can be very vulnerable to attackers who are a few hundred meters away from their border or even thousands of kilometers from it. It is not the fault of the intelligence of Israel and the United States. Motivated attackers will always find a way to attack, and here you need to find what the weakness they attacked is and how you need to defend against it. We learned very well then (from 9/11) what should be done and especially what should not be done, and I hope that Israel will also learn. I have seen many cyber vulnerabilities and many security companies that were hacked by unskilled attackers who managed to create enormous damages."
Is there a need for new thinking about war these days?
"I think that we need a new way of thinking and in every crisis, we need to rethink how to prevent it from happening again. We need an in-depth root analysis, to look for the weaknesses, locate them, and prevent them."
DeWalt also refers to the disinformation spread on the Internet regarding the war: "America learned a lot about the information wars and Fake News in the 2016 elections. In the war in Israel, we also saw the information war that was about the attack on the hospital in Gaza. We see how distorted information creates reality. If you look at social networks you realize that there is a very big problem in the world. Five or six companies control billions of people and the content they consume. They determine what is real and what is not, what is fake and what is trusted. The information we consume is one of the most important things, not only for democracy but for the credibility of nations and information. We learn that is a huge problem also in the confrontation with Hamas."
Do we need a new locating or tracking tool?
"I think that in the next few years, we will see a combination of space technologies, satellites, robotics, and artificial intelligence that will also provide a good answer to such threats as we saw in the current war. In the somewhat more distant future, we will see quantum computing that can create new opportunities."
DeWalt usually visits Israel once a year and sometimes more. "I really want to visit Israel soon and am planning such a visit as soon as possible, to show support and receive more accurate intelligence briefings. I am prohibited from coming to Israel now because of insurance approvals, but am trying to make my way. In any case, I will arrive in Israel in the next two months. I stand by Israel 100 percent, not only me, but also my company and all the companies I'm involved in. I say this not only as an investor but as a private person and also as an industrialist."