Building on the long-standing relationship between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), DHS Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans, Robert Silvers met Director General of the INCD Gaby Portnoy in Israel at the Cybertech Global Conference and jointly decided to expand cooperation in the areas of cybersecurity and emerging technology. They affirmed a shared commitment to work bilaterally to bolster cooperative research and development, increase cybersecurity and resilience capacity, combat shared cyber threats such as ransomware, and strengthen critical infrastructure cybersecurity. Additionally, they reaffirmed support for bolstering public-private partnerships that harness the innovation and ingenuity of the Israeli and American technology sectors. The intended outcomes for this cooperation include promoting the adoption of high-impact and mature cybersecurity technologies; enhancing cybersecurity information sharing and capacity building; and facilitating expert-to-expert exchanges intended to increase collaborative risk management of cyber threats and technological opportunities.
Under Secretary Silvers and Director General Portnoy committed to multiple partnerships to expand this cooperation.
First, they decided to expand cooperative research and development, both bilaterally and by building on the framework of the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Homeland Security (HLS) Program, which is managed by the DHS Science & Technology Directorate, to include new collaboration models with INCD focused on cybersecurity and emerging technologies. The BIRD Foundation was established in 1977 as a joint initiative between the U.S. and Israeli governments to stimulate, promote, and support joint industrial research and development of mutual benefit to Israel and the United States. This new cyber-focused BIRD program provides additional capability to DHS and INCD to invest in public-private partnerships and support innovative joint cybersecurity activities aimed at improving the resilience of both markets, combat ransomware and bolster critical infrastructure cyber security for the benefit of Israel and the United States.
Second, Under Secretary Silvers, on behalf of the Transportation Security Administration, and Director General Portnoy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deepen collaboration in aviation and surface transportation cybersecurity with respect to information sharing, intelligence and threat sharing, standards and methodologies, joint studies, cybersecurity exercises, and research and development. This MOU builds on the ironclad partnership between DHS and INCD, and is intended to advance critical cybersecurity collaborative efforts across the transportation sector.
Third, Under Secretary Silvers and Director General Portnoy affirmed a commitment to pursue expert-to-expert exchanges to identify and mitigate risks to and from emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, homomorphic encryption, and Position Navigation and Timing.
DHS and INCD look forward to implementing these partnerships to strengthen cooperation in cybersecurity and emerging technologies between our two nations and reaffirm our longstanding partnership on security.