US and Israel launch cybersecurity collaboration program
Business Continuity Management / Disaster Recovery, Critical Infrastructure Security, Cybercrime
The program aims to improve the cyber resilience of the critical infrastructure of both nations
Mihir Bagwe (MihirBagwe) •
July 4, 2022
The United States and Israel have agreed to a new joint cybersecurity program called IBRD Cyber to strengthen the cyber resilience of the critical infrastructures of the two countries. Grants of up to $1.5 million will be awarded to entities that jointly develop advanced cybersecurity applications under this program.
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The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Cyber Program is a new joint initiative to build cyber resilience of critical infrastructure in the US and Israel @BIRDFoundation1 https://t.co/ctAZwm5zdi
— Cyber Israel (@Israel_Cyber) July 4, 2022
The highlight of the program is the conditional grant of up to $1.5 million per project, which will not exceed 50% of the joint research and development budget, says BIRD Cyber’s call for proposals. Only entities from both countries that jointly develop advanced cybersecurity applications that address “critical cybersecurity needs” will be eligible for this grant.
“BIRD Cyber provides additional capability to DHS and INCD to expand cooperative research and development and support high-impact cybersecurity solutions for resilient critical infrastructure,” said Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the IBRD Foundation. “We look forward to expanding the success of BIRD Homeland Security with a new cybersecurity-focused program to foster strategic partnerships in cybersecurity and emerging technologies.”
Robert Silvers, the DHS Undersecretary for Policy, also welcomed the initiative and said, “Through the BIRD Cyber program, DHS and INCD will harness the innovation and ingenuity of the Israeli and U.S. technology sectors to strengthen security and resilience”.
Considerations for the project proposal
To obtain the $1.5 million grant, the first step is to submit a proposal to the IBRD foundation which will be reviewed by the authorities according to very specific guidelines set out in the call for proposals.
Collaboration or cooperation between two companies or between a company and a university or research institute – one from the United States and the other from Israel – is essential. Second, piloting innovative technologies should focus on one of the following areas, according to the thematic explanations cited by BIRD Cyber:
- Secure architecture: The solution must ensure the protection of key operational technologies and industrial control systems of major infrastructure utilities such as water, industry 4.0, transport, oil and gas. The solution should emphasize external connectivity with innovative cloud-based online artificial intelligence optimization services.
- Real-time risk assessment for airports or seaports: This solution is expected to provide continuous visibility and awareness of cyber posture across the entire digital infrastructure of small and medium-sized airports and seaports. The solution must meet all regulatory compliances and must also combine other key cybersecurity touchpoints, such as attack surface management, vulnerability assessment and management, breach simulations, and attack, IoT analysis and threat intelligence, among others.
- Resilience Centers: These centers should be able to serve small and medium enterprises and enterprises and provide them with tailored solutions for continuous monitoring, detection, response, risk assessment, cyber insurance and other professional services in a manner highly profitable and distributed.
- Advanced data fusion and analysis: This solution should collect unstructured data from various source points such as commercial threat information, deception technologies, DNS data, malware samples, and process these streams using data mining techniques. AI/ML to provide advanced persistent threat insights. One use case for such technology would be data sharing between two government partners or a government and private sector partner, says BIRD Cyber.
Executive summaries of project proposals based on any of the above topics of interest must be submitted to DHS and/or INCD by November 15. Those who qualify will be required to submit the final proposal by January 10, 2023 and BIRD’s decision in accordance with guidelines suggested by DHS and INCD will be disclosed in March 2023.
These joint decisions on strengthening the two countries’ collective cybersecurity were made recently when senior cybersecurity officials from the United States and Israel met at Israel’s Cyber Week 2022 event. held June 27-30 at Tel Aviv University.