Israel, US to sign accord to share information on cyber threats

System for automatic intel sharing is expected to be in place in several months, official says

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

Dr. Eviatar Matania (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Dr. Eviatar Matania (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel and the US are scheduled to sign an agreement to share information on cyber security threats in almost real time, Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, said at a Tel Aviv conference on cybersecurity.

“One of the lessons we learned is to go it alone is precarious; working together makes us stronger,” Mayorkas said at the conference on Monday. “The cybersecurity threat is borderless. Information must be shared.”

There is a critical need for countries across the world to share research and development and innovations, and the US and Israel can both be leaders in cybersecurity across the world, he said.

Increasing mobile and web usage and social media are among the key factors contributing to the “explosive increase” in cyber threats, MarketsandMarkets, a Dallas, Texas-based market research firm said in a report. The global cybersecurity market will be worth more than $170 billion by 2020, according to an estimate by MarketsandMarkets, with companies globally focusing on security solutions but also services.

Eviatar Matania, the head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau, said that the system for the automatic information sharing of cyber threats between the US and Israel is expected to be in place in several months and Israel is in talks to set up similar systems with other countries, which he declined to name.

“We believe in sharing information between companies, sectors and countries because the threat is so global,” Matania told reporters at the sidelines of the conference. “If we share information we can prevent it from propagating.”

Israel and the US will automatically compile and screen information coming from different agencies and sources and share with each other what is deemed useful, Matania said.

The new agreement with the US will be added to other agreements currently in place between the two countries in the area of high tech, he said.

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