Countries commit to sharing information and best practices in wake of pandemic

Israel has signed an agreement with India that’s focused on fighting cybersecurity threats heightened by Covid-19.

Representatives from both countries met earlier this month to unveil their plans for cooperation.

Yigal Unna, director general of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (INCD) and Sanjeev Singla, India’s ambassador to Israel, were seen touching elbows – a pandemic-era gesture to signify shaking hands.

The partnership aims to deepen Israel’s relationships with other nation states in order to protect against malicious actors, a spokesperson for the INCD told The Daily Swig.

It will consist of a “multilayer cooperation of sharing methodologies, best practices, and capacity building know-how”.

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The spokesperson said: “The wider we spread our defenses, with our good colleagues, the [more] difficult it is going to [be for] the attackers to reach us.

“Deepening cooperation with India is another important step in confronting global cyber threats.

“Israel can contribute [to India] its experience and can [also] benefit from the vast experience [from] India in dealing with cyber challenges and new and continuous cyber-attacks.”

This step comes as the spread of the virus has forced companies worldwide to shift their operations online.

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Indeed, many organizations are fighting against the rise in cyber threats since lockdown measures were enforced.

A sharp increase in distributed denial-of-service attacks, for example, has been witnessed around the world.

“The accelerated digitization processes that accompany the enormous challenge of dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic and the increase in threats in cyberspace bring with them challenges and the need to quickly build protected services and systems,” the INCD spokesperson said.

“In a very short period of time, it seems like the world has leaped 15 years when it comes to digitization.

E-commerce, e-learning, tele-medicine, remote-working, implementation of new technologies, introducing of new supply chains and critical processes… all widen the attack surface of the civilian cyber sphere [and] all require new knowledge and new cooperation.”

Cross-border colleagues

The new agreement comes after Israel signed a similar cybersecurity partnership with Romania.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the two countries’ Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) committed to sharing information and best practices.

The INCD spokesperson told The Daily Swig that this Israel-Romania partnership is still going strong, adding that the two nations are currently collaborating on tackling Covid-19-related threats.

“There has been an ongoing dialogue between CERT-IL and CERT-RO, where information and best practices is being shared, even tackling current Covid-19-related threats, helping both sides learn from each other, and boosting cyber robustness.

“Such a dialogue is constantly happening with other CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) in other countries too.”

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