Israeli firm inks first UAE deal to help telecom giant crack down on cyberthreats

Cyberint’s intelligence platform provides real-time responses to cyberattack attempts coming from beyond the traditional security perimeters to fix them before they become an issue

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Cyberint CEO (second from right) with Etisalat by e&’s SVP of cybersecurity Ayman A AlShehi (right) at the GISEC Global cybersecurity conference in Dubai, March 14, 2023. (GEC Media Group/Courtesy)
Cyberint CEO (second from right) with Etisalat by e&’s SVP of cybersecurity Ayman A AlShehi (right) at the GISEC Global cybersecurity conference in Dubai, March 14, 2023. (GEC Media Group/Courtesy)

Cyberint Technologies Ltd., an Israel-based company specializing in cyber-intelligence, announced on Wednesday that it has inked an agreement with United Arab Emirates-based telecom company etisalat by e& to protect its infrastructure from cybercriminals.

Founded in 2010 by Itay Yanovski and Raz Alon, Cyberint focuses on tracking cyber-mercenaries and threat actors, exposing them and alerting entities both public and private of their presence to provide early warning to thousands of cyberattack attempts.

As part of the three-year agreement estimated at several millions of shekels, etisalat by e&, also known as e&, will deploy Cyberint’s real-time intelligence and attack surface management platform to protect its infrastructure against emerging cyberthreats such as ransomware, leaked credentials, and fraud, and help the telecom firm take proactive steps against targeted attacks or campaigns before they occur.

“No enterprise wants to wait until its information is compromised or its service impacted to take action against cybercriminals, yet many companies remain vulnerable,” stated Cyberint CEO Yochai Corem. “Our agreement with etisalat by e& shows that forward-looking companies, especially those in critical verticals such as telecom, are taking action and turning the tables on cybercriminals.”

Cyberint says its Argos digital risk protection platform provides real-time threat intelligence through the constant analysis of hundreds of millions of data points and ongoing monitoring of external risk exposure. The platform tracks cybercriminals in the dark and deep web, criminal forums, market places, social media platforms, instant messaging, file sharing repositories and more, to protect businesses from threats such as fraud, phishing, malware, data leakage, vulnerabilities, brand, and social media risks.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, etisalat by e&, formerly known as Etisalat Group, is the telecom pillar of the group, which was established over four decades ago in the UAE as the country’s first telecom service provider. The blue-chip group has 155.4 million subscribers in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, including mobile, TV and Internet subscribers, as well as hundreds of thousands of businesses who use their digital, cloud and communication services.

“The deal comes at a time when cyber threats to the telecom industry are rapidly increasing due to factors such as legacy technology, large attack surfaces, and the valuable information they handle. In addition, high-profile attacks that resulted in the theft of sensitive personal data have further underscored the dangers faced by the industry,” Cyberint said in a statement.

Etisalat by e&’s chief technology officer, Khalid Murshed, emphasized that working with a “reputable cybersecurity partner, reflects our strategy to provide every means to fortify our company’s assets, secure our customers’ data and inspire confidence in all stakeholders in today’s interconnected world.”

“Our investment in the latest cybersecurity measures provides a solid layer of protection against the ever-changing cyber threats of the digital age,” Murshed said.

Tel Aviv-based Cyberint last raised $40 million in a Series C round in June led by StageOne Late Stage Arm, which is backed by Clal Insurance, Menora and Bank Hapoalim; Neva SGR, part of Intesa Sanpaolo Group; and Viola Growth.

The partnership comes after the UAE and Israel signed a normalization agreement in 2020 as part of the US-backed Abraham Accords paving the way for companies to openly forge cooperation ties that already existed but were kept under wraps due to political sensitivities. In April last year, Israel and the UAE signed a free trade agreement.

In December, the heads of the cyber agencies from Morocco, Bahrain, the UAE and Israel gathered in Bahrain for the first time to discuss the establishment of a joint cyber defense platform to share and conduct regional investigations amid increased threats from Iranian hackers. Gabi Portnoy, director general of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, presented an Israeli initiative to create a national cyber dome aimed at strengthening the cyberdefense of the entire economy.

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