Israeli intelligence unit struggles to fight brain drain

Cyberattack (Kacper Pempel - Reuters)

Middle East Monitor  /  July 22, 2020

Israel’s army intelligence unit 8200 is struggling to fight a brain drain of its personnel into the private sector, Safa news agency reported on Tuesday.

In an effort by the 8200 unit to reverse the trend, it has started to ask reservists to sign a conflict of interest form. The departure of highly qualified personnel to civilian technology companies has the potential to leak sensitive technology and information.

The unit is also seeking to halt attempts by private security firms to get the better of it in the security and cybersecurity sector so that it loses its reputation. According to Israel Hayom, most offers made by private companies target those defined in the 8200 unit as “diamonds”, officers and soldiers who are considered to have unique knowledge and capabilities.

The move by 8200 follows an offer made to an officer in a sensitive position. Although he rejected the offer, he told his commanding officer.

The unit said that its measures are not targeting high tech firms per se, but it is angry about what some companies in the Israeli market are doing to encourage officers to leave.