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UAE, Israel sign key joint cyber threat intelligence agreement

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In a watershed moment for two once feuding regional neighbors, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel will jointly develop a threat intelligence sharing platform to address cybersecurity threats.

Project Crystal Ball, announced this week, is a digital platform for detecting and repelling hackers through collaboration and knowledge sharing around nation-state cyber threats. It is described as capable of “designing, deploying and implementing regional intelligence enhancements,” according to presentation slides seen during Tel Aviv Cyber ​​Week this week.

According to reports, the project will be supported by Microsoft, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Abu Dhabi’s CPX, with an unknown number of countries participating. track.

Joint response required

Mohammad Al Kuwait, the UAE’s head of cybersecurity, said the platform would enable partner countries to “share information easily and seamlessly” and would be enhanced by a combination of countries’ joint capabilities, processing power and vast amounts of data.

Speaking at the Cyber ​​Week conference, Kuwait said: “Cyber ​​threats do not distinguish between countries, entities or individuals, which is why we need to unite against these threats. Our goal is that the entire community of Crystal Ball will be the first step towards this goal.” step.”

Nadir Izrael, co-founder and chief technology officer of Armis, said he welcomed the joint effort in the Middle East because he “believes strongly that nations need to work together to develop comprehensive and effective cyber warfare responses to build A safer and more resilient world.”

He added: “As we have seen Cyber ​​attack on Israel in late April this yearA coordinated effort by groups linked to Iran and Russia is seeking to heighten geopolitical tensions and create instability among citizens. In a polarized world, it is imperative to invest in cybersecurity measures to protect entire countries from such attacks. “

Izrael also noted that the Crystal Ball project should serve as a model for other projects. “Governments and organizations need to take threats seriously and allocate resources to building strong and resilient cybersecurity systems,” he said. “These advanced systems will support threat intelligence, which can help detect malicious behavior and stop attacks before they happen.”

improve diplomatic relations

Al Kuwaiti said the UAE’s ties to Israeli tech companies will be particularly helpful in the country’s transition to a digital economy, following the normalization of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel in September 2020. abraham agreementthereby strengthening the commercial and strategic relationship between the two countries.

Ryan Westman, senior manager of threat intelligence at eSentire, said threat intelligence sharing cooperation between Israel and the UAE will be key to better securing the region. “Overall, any information-sharing agreement is likely to benefit organizations in the countries covered because the more we know about the threats and vulnerabilities facing organizations, the better we can address the risks posed by those threats and vulnerabilities. Do better,” he said. “By sharing information about these threats and vulnerabilities, security teams can more easily respond to risks.”

He noted that while Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) have been around for some time and are not new, cooperation between two countries that have been geopolitically at odds in the past is noteworthy.

“Partnerships like this can have a broader impact, improving everyone’s security posture because it makes it easier to detect potential issues in the broader threat landscape,” he said. “Cooperating in this way will benefit everyone, whether they are in the two countries involved or in other countries in the region.”

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