U.S. and Israel Strengthen Cybersecurity Partnership
Both countries have pursued a bilateral cybersecurity agreement between their financial agencies since 2021, amid critical infrastructure threats.
The U.S Department of Treasury and Israel’s Ministry of Finance finalized the terms of their new bilateral agreement that aims to fortify cyber resilience in both countries’ networks, and further extends an existing tech-centric bilateral agreement.
“We are pleased to have the government of Israel as partners in our global effort to stop ransomware,” Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said. “This partnership has already resulted in the sharing of real time cyber threat data to prevent the spread of ransomware and other cyber attacks from impacting the U.S. financial sector. We look forward to expanding this partnership.”
In the new memorandum of understanding, both nations will work together on protecting their critical infrastructures, a major target for ransomware and hacking expeditions. Much of the MoU emphasizes greater information sharing and communication surrounding digital vulnerabilities and threats, as well as training initiatives for relevant staff.
Treasury and Israel’s Ministry of Finance have maintained a partnership in cybersecurity matters since 2021 when Adeyemo announced a bilateral task force to help cultivate better government policy to support cybersecurity software and hardware products that help combat ransomware threats within the financial sector.
Adeyemo then said that the partnership made sense, as Israel has long focused on cultivating a robust fintech economic sector.
That initiative was reaffirmed in June 2022 when the Department of Homeland Security announced the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Cyber program that is currently accepting applications of essential cybersecurity products for critical infrastructure agencies like airports, as well as for smaller businesses.
Enhanced partnerships follow the recent diplomatic meeting between the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Israeli National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata in Washington D.C. last week. While global security was the primary topic of conversation, Sherman also prioritized the need for accountability following the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.