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US, Israel and UK Strengthen Cyber Cooperation

The US Department of Defense and Israeli Ministry of Defense have entered an agreement to increase cyber-defense cooperation between the nations.

According to Army Technology, representatives discussed a number of ways to further strengthen cooperation on a range of issues, and the deal will see the USA deploy the US National Guard's cyber squadrons against ISIS.

The decision follows a meeting between US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Israeli Minister of Defense, Moshe Ya'alon, where Carter reaffirmed the unshakeable US commitment to Israel's security and the importance of the US-Israeli defense relationship.

Tim Erlin, director of security and risk at Tripwire, told Infosecurity that information sharing is a key component to successful cyber-defense, whether between corporations or nations.

“The addition of cyber-attacks to theater of war is a growing trend,” he said. “We shouldn’t be surprised that existing international defense cooperation might be extended to this new battlefront.”

Paul Fletcher, cybersecurity evangelist at Alert Logic, said: “It’s possible that there has already been some collaboration between these two military cyber-teams in the past, and this announcement is a way to formalize the relationship and establish specific protocols for communication and information sharing."

“This cooperative partnership shows a maturation of the strategy for the US DoD to partner with foreign governments and acknowledgement of their technical contribution. This is especially interesting to me, a veteran, because several years ago the US DoD wouldn’t consider purchasing from any technology vendors from any foreign country (this policy may have changed by now). To the point that when Check Point Firewall-1 was the leading firewall technology, but the USA military couldn’t use the product because Check Point was based in Israel. Clearly, this public statement shows the DoD’s willingness to move their cybersecurity capabilities forward and working together for the greater good.

“Yes, this joint capability will certainly help fight cyber-terrorism threats. It will help just from the perspective of adding more highly skilled cybersecurity professionals in the fight against cyber-terrorists. Only time will tell if this strategy will be more effective than trying to install backdoors in technology.”

The news follows an announcement in February that the UK and Israel planned to extend their cooperation in defending national infrastructure installations from cyber-attacks. According to the Jewish News, the two nations are extending collaboration by strengthening the relationship between their Cyber Emergency Response Teams, and by launching a new academic engagement in the emerging field of cyber-physical security.

Leo Taddeo, chief security officer at Cryptzone, said: “Information and intelligence-sharing are critical to success in cyber-warfare. No single country can collect and process all of the data necessary to maintain strategic and tactical superiority.”

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