U.S. and Israeli officials committed to their joint cybersecurity work after a three-day swing through Israel by Department of Homeland Security officials.
DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was in the region to discuss issues such as immigration, aviation security and cybersecurity During his trip, Mayorkas met with Israel’s top cyber officials and representatives from the country’s booming security sector “to discuss areas of cooperation and opportunities for joint investment in cybersecurity,” DHS said.
After a meeting between Mayorkas and Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of the Israel National Cyber Bureau, the two countries signed an agreement to deepen the exchange of data on digital intruders and digital defense tactics.
The move is strategically important for a number of reasons.
Israel is increasingly a cyber hot-bed in the world, quickly becoming the world’s second-largest exporter of cyber products.
The country’s cyber startup scene is not far behind Silicon Valley. Companies and investors are dumping money into the region as new companies are launching every week. Digital frontrunners such as PayPal and defense giants like Lockheed Martin are both opening cyber-focused research labs in the region.
In just the past few days, it's been reported that Microsoft is dropping $320 million to purchase Israel cybersecurity firm Adallom.
The Israeli government also represents a critical cyber ally in the region and a partner in countering Iran’s growing cyber prowess.
Israel has been rapidly training an elite team of cyber warriors through Unit 8200 within the Israel Defense Forces. It’s believed that Israel’s digital army teamed with the U.S. to launch a destructive cyberattack that took out a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.