Written by : Noa Gelfged
Meet Eli Kugel, an interesting cybersecurity expert
Eli Kugel, thank you for receiving me today. You are currently working at Cymulate in Tel Aviv. Can you tell me more about this company and its sector ?
My experience at Cymulate started in August 2018. This SaaS-based cyber-attack simulation is an Israeli company which helps businesses to stay one step ahead of cyber attackers with a unique breach and attack simulation platform. It empowers organizations with complex security solutions to safeguard their business-critical assets. It was founded by an elite team of former IDF intelligence officers frustrated by the time and resource inefficiencies they experienced while conducting offensive cyber security operations.
Cybersecurity startups in Tel-aviv are a “dime a dozen” , there are quantity and quality! It’s understandable because it’s a 124 billion dollar global market and rise every single year. Everybody wants a slice of the pie! Israel will always have a cybersecurity industry.
Discover Cymulate’s website here.
Why did you choose to get involved in cybersecurity ?
Today’s cyber-attacks are more dynamic, advanced and sophisticated with hackers working more in deep to steal IP, disrupt operations and commit fraud. Companies must reflect about their cyber posture more frequently with a greater responsiveness than before.
You have an important international background and education, can you share with me more about yourself ?
I was born in a unique Orthodox community in Crown Heights in New York, which is very open minded with a lot of exposure to the outside world due to its position : the headquarters of Chabad international. I left this home at the age of 13 to study abroad and went to different Yeshivas in Asia, Europe, South America, the Middle East and the U.S. My school system worked really differently, there were no math, no History. The first time I’ve learned algebra, was at the age of 21. It was all about religious studies, all day, every day. After I got my rabbinical degree, I started a Bachelor degree in Business and Commerce in New York.
“This method of education gave me some really critical thinking skills and gave me the ability to figure things out!”
What is your position at Cymulate and what are your responsibilities ?
I’m the American! I’m a relationship manager, I find consumers, bring them to the table escort and I score throughout the sales process. I love it.
“Going into that direction after following religious studies isn’t impossible and become more common over the past few years”
Why did you choose to come to Tel-Aviv ?
I fell in love with the Startup Nation! In fact, it’s a combination of all the new businesses, new innovations and new ideas. From a community perspective, everybody can receive help from the experiences of someone else. The networking here is also very useful. I wanted to be part of this big family.
Cymulate isn’t related to the Rabbinic World , are you working for an organization dedicated to the community in addition to your work ?
The skills that I gained in Yeshiva help me everyday! I’m involved in a community called “Chabad on the coast”, I pitch in a lot as well. For me, there is a gap between the religious and nonreligious people in this country. And I think it’s important to put those two groups together to fix the problem. I’m also involved in other Chabad communities in different countries.
Could you share with me your most amazing experience ?
Singapore ! It’s a business driven Jewish Community over there. This community gave me the opportunity to understand who I was as a person.
Where would you like to be in three, five years ? (In the same company ? having a new position ? …)
From a geographical perception, it would be right here, in Tel Aviv. I already invested a lot of time, money and emotional capacity here. From a career perspective, I love my company and I would like to go as far as I can but I have no idea if I would like to be at the same position. I’m open for new opportunities.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
I enjoy hanging out with friends, volunteering, helping out, traveling for organizations. I love interacting with people.
If you could describe one of your worst qualities, what would it be ?
I speak too fast. Sometimes I should think more before speaking (laugh)
To conclude, what is your definition of success ?
Bringing the maximum value based on your personality and skills to yourself and to those around you. Being all that you can be!
*’’A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness’’, is a quote from the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Shniur Zalman of Liadi.