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Best in Cyber
Doron Amir

Doron Amir (Hebrew: דורון אמיר, born December 1975) is an Israeli high-tech entrepreneur in the fields of software and cybersecurity. He is the founder and CEO of CyTaka – the world championship in cyber for programmers. Doron Amir promotes education and employment in the high-tech industry.



Doron Amir was raised in Holon. In 1994, towards the end of his high school studies and the beginning of his military service, he enlisted in the Israeli Air Force's technological reserve program, intending to pursue further vocational training before joining intelligence unit 8200. However, at the end of training and before his assignment, in light of the security situation in Israel at that time, he asked to become a combat soldier,[1] volunteered to the Paratroopers Brigade, and served in "Orev", a special commando unit.

Career Launch: Training, Programming, and Consulting

Upon the completion of his military service, Doron Amir started working as a software and cybersecurity instructor at New Horizons.[2] During this period he attained multiple technology and training certifications by Microsoft, including MCSD,[3] MCAD[4] and MCT.[5] He then worked as a senior .Net instructor at John Bryce (Hebrew) / Matrix (Hebrew),[6][better source needed], as a programmer at Amdocs[6] and then as a senior software instructor and manager of high-tech and computers field at Ramat Gan College (Hebrew).[7] At that time he also taught at the Technion[6] and he was given a lecturer certificate by the Technion's Continuing Education Unit.[8] Concurrently, he studied and researched the field of cybersecurity, focusing on vulnerability analysis, worked as a senior lecturer at cybersecurity training centers, among which See Security.[9]

During that period, using a company he had set up, Doron Amir provided consulting services in IT to multiple organizations, including high-tech companies and government and security organizations. Throughout his work, he trained and created training programs for cybersecurity investigators at the Israel Police and the Ministry of Economy. In 2008 he relocated to London to work for Pilat Media (nowadays a SintecMedia company) to train international software teams in broadcast encryption.[6]

Business career and cybersecurity ventures

In 2015 Doron Amir was a co-founder of the Chinese holdings company TLV Ventures, in which he worked as CTO[6] and helped promote Israeli companies' technology in China and Taiwan.[10] In 2017 he left TLV Ventures to found Plexivo, a cybersecurity company that developed a computer games-based simulation system (in the style of the GTA computer game series) to train cybersecurity professionals, alongside a unique cyber-capable, sensors-featuring hardware component.[11] The initiative gained considerable media interest, especially due to its advisory board featuring, in a manner unique to an Israeli cybersecurity company, a large number of highly prominent security figures of diverse backgrounds, such as Benny GantzTamir Pardo, Prof. Jacob Nagel, Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, Yair Cohen (Hebrew) and Ami Shafran (Hebrew),[11] but it was discontinued due to cybersecurity regulation issues and internal discord. Following the termination of the project Doron Amir conducted research in the field of algorithm development, to improve computer performance on Nvidia products platform, and to carry out speech recognition, at a daughter company of TLV Ventures.


Doron Amir and Yossi Cohen at CyTaka's Cyber Nation Championship, Hilton Tel Aviv, January 2022


In 2021 Doron Amir founded the cybersecurity company CyTaka, which offers programmers and cybersecurity professionals opportunities to demonstrate and improve their skills in cybersecurity by way of solving challenges on its dedicated mobile app and in national and international competitions.[12] The company's purpose is to train new ranks of cybersecurity professionals by increasing software developers' awareness of cybersecurity issues, thus providing the general public better defense against growing cybersecurity threats.[13] Doron Amir serves as the CEO of CyTaka and is a member of the founding group of its parent company, Globus Research and Development, which owns the brand CyTaka. In March 2022 it was published that the parent company raised from a group of private investors $50 million at a valuation of $0.5 billion for the purpose of spreading its cybersecurity initiative beyond the bounds of the Middle East towards the European market.[14]


Doron Amir and Gadi Eisenkot at CyTaka's Cyber Negev Competition, April 2022

Public exchange of statements with Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi


CyTaka's billboard advertising the promo event for the Cyber World Championship for Programmers, featuring the company's motto "the Best in cyber", Herzliya, December 2021

The company's motto, "The best in cyber", drew public statements from the IDF Chief of the General StaffAviv Kochavi, who in his speech at the IAF flight course graduation ceremony on December 22, 2021, proclaimed: "No, no, that's a mistake (...) The best are measured by their willingness to risk their lives to protect others".[15]

In several interviews he conducted subsequently, Doron Amir sought to correct the impression that was made as if the company encourages the preference of service in IDF's technological units over combat service, and emphasized that he himself was a combat soldier[16] and that the company's app encourages veterans of combat units as well as anyone else to gain cybersecurity skills that will set them at an excellent position in the job market.[1]

“The field of cybersecurity is much more important than what most people realize. Without cybersecurity there's no high-tech, and without high-tech, there's no modern country. The motto "the best in cyber" is aimed at delivering a message of empowerment to the Israeli society. It should put more emphasis on education, the academy, the industry, and produce more cybersecurity geniuses and more software professionals who together become a national asset and empower Israel's most important asset – its inhabitants.”

— Doron Amir, Forbes Israel, December 2021, Page 57 (Hebrew)


CyTaka's billboard advertising the promo event for the Cyber World Championship for Programmers, featuring the company's motto "the Best in cyber", Herzliya, December 2021

Cyber competitions

Doron Amir and Igal Unna at CyTaka's Cyber Negev competition, April 2022

The company holds, both in Israel and internationally, cybersecurity competitions in increasingly innovative and sophisticated formats, such as capture the flag,[13] red team (attackers) vs. blue team (defenders),[17] and hacking into smart devices. Doron Amir gave a unique depth to the competitions by inviting former senior defense and security officials, such as Shimon Hefetz (Hebrew), Danny Yatom,[18] Igal Unna (Hebrew), Gadi Eisenkot,[17] Yossi Cohen,[19] and others, to speak to the audience, award prizes to the winners, and overall support the initiative. At the "Cyber Negev" competition, which the company held in April 2022 simultaneously in Midreshet Sde Boker and in its offices in Herzliya, Gadi Eisenkot presented the winner with the Meir Dagan prize of excellence in cybersecurity, on behalf of the Association in Memory of Meir Dagan.[17]


Doron Amir and Gadi Eisenkot at CyTaka's Cyber Negev Competition, April 2022

Products and services

The company developed a dedicated mobile app that offers programmers and cybersecurity professionals opportunities to demonstrate and improve their skills in cybersecurity by way of solving challenges, and data on their performances therein form accurate profiles with skills-based official ranking.

At the 2022 Cyber Negev competition, the company launched CyTaka Cube – an auxiliary system for training purposes that produces various cybersecurity scenarios and uniquely simulates to competitors scenarios tantamount to real world situations.[17]


Building bridges between Jews and Muslims

Doron Amir has worked intensively with the Muslim and Arab world, among else from the offices of Globus Research and Development in Dubai.[20] His endeavors has also sparked interest from countries that have no official diplomatic relations with Israel. In August 2021 the company held its pre-qualifying event for the world cyber competition at the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.[21] At the event, at the invitation of Doron Amir, former undefeated MMA champion Khabib Nurmagomedov took the stage to talk to the audience. A known public critic of Israel until the event,[22] Nurmagomedov expressed support for the initiative to establish educational institutions for the high-tech industry in Arab countries,[23] and added: "Fulfilling the joint vision will break barriers and promote brotherhood and peace between the Muslims and the Jews. No more conflicts. We must look to the future".[21]

Doron Amir has worked globally to build bridges between different people, mostly around giving stimulus to education and employment in the high-tech industry among various sectors and the countries of the world.


Khabib Nurmagomedov and Doron Amir at the pre-qualifying event for the world cyber competition, Dubai, August 2021

Establishing and leading vocational training projects for Israel's Haredi population (men and women)

Over the years Doron Amir engaged extensively in building bridges between secular and Haredi Jews. He established and operated vocational training initiatives for the Haredi community in order to battle the unemployment problem and expand the array of opportunities facing this often closed population overall, and particularly to promote gender equality by encouraging Haredi women's employment in the high-tech sector. Until 2007 he worked in collaboration with Manpower Bereshit, Keren Kemach (Hebrew), an employment program team at JDC (Joint) Israel.[24] and the Modi'in Illit branch of The Mercaz Chareidi Institute of Technology.

Activities to bolster high-tech excellence

Doron Amir has been considered a "friend of the editorial office" of the People and Computers group (Hebrew) since 2003.[25] He served as a judge in many of the group's contests, including Israel's largest high-tech competitions, IT Awards (starting 2003[26]), and Webi Awards (starting 2007[27]), and was the head judge at Mobi Awards (starting 2011[28]). Among the participants in these contests were some of the largest organizations in Israel's banking, finance, health, local government, and central government sectors,[29][30] and their development plans and budgets were directly shaped by various aspects of their participation in the contests, including by Doron Amir's vision, which he implemented through the ranking criteria he set as a judge. Doron Amir regularly writes articles and gives interviews to the group's publications[31] and he serves as a speaker and panelist at the group's conferences.

His views


On cybersecurity technology subjects, at the Mobility 2013 conference, Doron Amir demonstrated on stage how to break into smartphones of all operating systems, in order to convey a firm message on consumer privacy to the telecommunications service providers.[20][32] He further noted that the State of Israel learns to protect itself against cyberattacks with every cyberattack it experiences, and the more frequent a target it is, the faster it learns.[33] He opposed the proposal that the Shin Bet find violators of COVID-19 isolation orders by tracking their mobile phones,[34] and implored the Israeli security forces to devise a plan to remove and deal with the threat of kamikaze drones, which have become a potentially strategic weapon.[35] In the aftermath of the Israeli Police NSO affair (Hebrew), Doron Amir welcomed the issue's breaking into the media and public awareness, a step which he claimed would promote the formation of a mechanism to regulate and oversee private companies that develop arsenals of advanced cyberweapons.[20] Additionally, he supported the strengthening of the Israel Police cyber unit so that its capabilities become parallel to those of The Israeli Military Intelligence unit 8200.[20]

On cybersecurity defense subjects, Doron Amir claimed that Iran invests heavily in training its human capital to cyber warfare, in relative terms more so than Israel does, and warned that it's not inconceivable for Iran to finance scholarships to Israelis with the aim of turning them into its agents at a future time.[36] Following the hacking into the phone of then Prime Minister contender Benny Gantz, he voiced a reminder that smartphones can be hacked by a myriad of players, so Iran doesn't have to do it alone while risking exposure; instead, it may suffice that it purchase the information from a third party.

[37] In the wake of the elimination of multiple senior Hamas commanders in Operation Guardian of the Walls in 2021, Doron Amir determined that the money that is being channeled to Hamas, allowing it to hire cyberattackers, poses a new major challenge for the State of Israel and Unit 8200, and he estimated that the world is on a path to forming a global collaboration to find correlations between money transactions and to trace their sources back to specific countries of origin, which would make it possible to act against the assailants at the international level.

[38] Doron Amir also warned against the accumulation of funds and brainpower by malicious cyber organizations and stressed that the combination of money and manpower makes an army for all intents and purposes.[21]


On further technology subjects, Doron Amir called for companies developing mobile apps to allocate further resources to boost the apps' usability.[39]

On economic subjects, Doron Amir encouraged the Haredi population to strive to mingle with the general population and called upon companies hiring Haredi workers to stop assigning them to work areas that are fully separate from the other company employees.[40] On the one hand, he denounced investors who excessively dilute entrepreneurs[41] and who strongarm startups into changing their strategies to fit the formers' needs;[42] and on the other hand, he opposed funding small startups that intend to compete against global behemoths in futile battles.[43] In 2018, with the celebrations of Israel's 70th anniversary approaching, Doron Amir declared that he's confident that in the near future Israel will become the world's leading knowledge powerhouse.[44] With the outbreak of COVID-19 he expressed concern by the component of uncertainty along with its psychological effects on the investment world, along with skepticism about the effectiveness of solutions for virtual remote work,[45] but those sentiments quickly gave way to optimism.[46] One year after the signing of the Abraham Accords he called to enact financial regulation with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.[47] Additionally, Doron Amir supported the proposal to observe the weekend in Israel on Saturday–Sunday,[48] among else ever since 2011, when he led a research at the appointment of Silvan Shalom to study the implications of the proposed shift on the high-tech industry.[49]

On communications and consumer policy subjects, Doron Amir expressed his disappointment with a lack of regulation that would compel telecommunications service providers to present to their customers the makeup of their future monthly bills before any change to their accounts is made.[50] He called for smartphone makers to add to their devices adequate warning against electromagnetic radiation;[51] encouraged the development of short-range sound wave-based communication to be used in certain sensitive cases of wearables,[52] and sided with holding the telecommunications service providers responsible for their clients' data security.[36]

On human resources subjects, Doron Amir claimed that vocational training should impart future-facing skills to the students to help them gain a real market advantage over other candidates,[40] and supported a full subsidy of a bachelor's degree to all those who complete their military or otherwise alternative civilian service as required.[1]

Over the years Doron Amir voiced opinions supporting the creation of a safe and global world, in alignment with his actions for the cause.

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