Tel Aviv Stock Exchange inks cybersecurity deal with Kazakhstan counterpart

Agreement marks first foreign consulting deal for TASE as it seeks to ‘diversify its sources of income’

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

Illustrative image of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, on March 14, 2017. (Roy Alima/Flash90)
Illustrative image of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, on March 14, 2017. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange said Sunday it has signed an agreement with Kazakhstan’s new stock exchange to help set up its cybersecurity protection systems.

The deal marks the first time that the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is to provide professional consulting services to a foreign exchange, and it is part of the exchange’s bid to expand and diversify its sources of income, the TASE said in a statement.

The agreement will help the new bourse, which is being set up as part of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), tap into the “high level of professional experience and the many years of professional experience on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in the field of cyber protection — one of the significant challenges currently facing stock exchanges and financial institutions around the world,” the TASE statement said.

Central stock exchanges across the world “face a very significant challenge in the field of cyber protection,” the statement said, as they are potential targets for cyberattacks from a variety of malicious entities, including anti-globalization activists, terrorist organizations and hostile countries as well as economic crime organizations.

Damage to stock exchange activity as a result of cyberattacks does not only pose a significant financial risk to investors, but also harms the reputation of the stock exchange, as one of the pillars of its activity is investor confidence, the statement said.

As part of the consulting agreement, the TASE will provide the Kazakhstan exchange a range of services and solutions in the field of cybersecurity protection, including an assessment and definition of its needs based on its business and technology environment; mapping out risks and identifying relevant solutions. The bourse will also be responsible for planning and setting up cybersecurity projects, choosing the suppliers and overseeing project execution.

TASE did not disclose the financial details of the agreement, but the Calcalist financial daily estimated it would yield some “hundreds of thousands of shekels” to the Israeli bourse and open doors to other, similar projects elsewhere in the world.

The TASE is subject to the supervision of Israel’s National Cyber ​​Authority, which operates within the framework of the Prime Minister’s Office.

TASE is “confident that this cooperation can contribute greatly to the development and management of cyber protection” of the Kazakhstan exchange, said Itai Ben Zeev, CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.  “In accordance with our strategic plan, we continue to develop new areas of activity for diversifying our sources of income, with an emphasis on creating international collaborations, using the unique professional knowledge and extensive experience of the Israeli Stock Exchange “

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