The Hamad Bin Khalifa Department of Projects is partnering with a number of Israeli businessmen and Unit 8200, an intelligence division of Israel defence forces, to form a joint venture to develop hi-tech cybersecurity solutions in the UAE.
The agreement will also see a cyber academy being set up in the Emirates, which will train the next generation of cyber analysts and chief information security officers, HBK DOP said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This partnership will strengthen the co-operation between the countries in the fields of cybersecurity and technology … and will contribute to the good relationships,” Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa, founder and chairman of HBK DOP, said.
HBK DOP was founded by Sheikh Hamad to handle project investments and enter into joint venture partnerships that focus on sustainability and job creation.
The Dubai-based entity intends to develop projects in the Middle East, Africa, India, Russia, Central Asia, Hong Kong and Mexico.
Gulf countries' growing digital footprint have increasingly made them a target among cyber criminals.
The average cost of data breaches in the UAE and Saudi Arabia – Arab world’s biggest economies – was $6.53 million in 2020, a 9.4 per cent year-on-year increase, according to a report by IBM Security. This is second only to the US, which has the highest total average cost per data breach of $8.64m.
The common goal of the joint venture is to improve cybersecurity in the UAE and GCC region “in order to have better protection against common threats in the region”, a group of Israeli businessmen, who are part of the agreement, said.
A number of pacts have been signed between the UAE and Israel to foster co-operation in sectors ranging from aviation to finance after they signed the Abraham Accord in September.
The annual exchange of trade between the two countries is expected to reach $4 billion a year, according to Etihad Credit Insurance.