Bank Hapoalim, IAI to join forces on using blockchain for cybersecurity

Announcement follows Hapoalim collaboration with Microsoft on digital bank guarantees based on blockchain technology

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Bank Hapoalim's chairman Oded Eran (right),  Joseph Weiss, the CEO of  IAI, center, and Arik Pinto, the CEO of Bank Hapoalim, left. (Courtesy)
Bank Hapoalim's chairman Oded Eran (right), Joseph Weiss, the CEO of IAI, center, and Arik Pinto, the CEO of Bank Hapoalim, left. (Courtesy)

Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim Ltd., and the nation’s largest aerospace defense company, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), said Wednesday they will collaborate on using blockchain technology in a bid to meet cybersecurity and information security challenges.

This is the second collaboration announced by Bank Hapoalim regarding the use of blockchain technology for secure banking purposes. In September the lender said it would collaborate with software giant Microsoft to set up a platform to create digital bank guarantees based on blockchain technology.

Now, IAI’s cybersecurity arm and Hapoalim will join forces to find ways to better secure clients and transactions using blockchain technology, a leading global software platform for digital assets. The technology plays a central role in enabling cryptocurrency transactions and also allows for secure information transmission on its network, without the need for human involvement.

The joint research that will be carried out by the two companies will examine how blockchain can be used for developing new cybersecurity solutions, such as secure transmission of information between services and supply chains, user authentication, the protection of critical devices that run without human intervention and any other cybersecurity challenges posed by this “hyper-connected world,” the firms said in a joint statement.

The new collaboration will make use of the vast financial information security know-how developed at Hapoalim along with the national-defense cyber know-how garnered by IAI.

The collaboration will potentially offer Hapoalim  more secure communication with customers, suppliers and partners, and help IAI gain experience for the elite cybersecurity products it develops for both military and civilian systems. Last year IAI set up a cyber division, and said that cybersecurity was a growth engine at the government-owned company, which manufactures military and civilian aircraft and products.

“Hapoalim invests heavily in cybersecurity as part of its strategy to provide the most efficient and innovative services with strong focus on information security,” Arik Pinto, the CEO of Hapoalim, said in the statement.

Joseph Weiss, the CEO of IAI, said that IAI makes “massive” investments in cyber research and development.

The collaboration with Bank Hapoalim “is part of IAI strategy to tighten its grip as a leading cyber player in Israel and globally. The new collaboration will help us develop into high-potential areas such as blockchain technology.”

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