Israel and US to Invest $3.85 Million in projects for critical infrastructure protection through the BIRD Cyber Program

Israel and US government agencies announced the BIRD Cyber Program, an investment of roughly $4M in projects to enhance the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure.

The BIRD Cyber Program is a joint initiative from the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD), the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to promote projects to enhance the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure in both countries.

The program is managed by the BIRD Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports joint research activities between Israeli and American organizations. The initiative plans to invest $3.85 million in projects to develop cutting-edge defense solutions.

The total value of the projects will be increased to approximately $10 million through private-sector funding.

The initiative aims at developing new solutions for detecting and preventing cyberattacks, technologies to protect sensitive data, and improve the security of critical infrastructure systems.

The BIRD foundation provides funding of up to 50% for each approved project, it is important to note that no repayment is required if the project does not reach the sales stage.

The BIRD Cyber Program also provides mentoring for the growth of the projects.

Below are the eligibility requirements for the BIRD Cyber Program:

The project must be a joint venture between an Israeli and an American company.

The project must focus on cybersecurity or emerging technologies.

The project must have the potential to enhance the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure.

The project must be at the prototype or early development stage.
The BIRD Cyber Program will award four grants for projects related the maritime sectors, airport and air traffic, and industrial control systems (ICS).

Below are the projects approved:

Rescana (Tel-Aviv, Israel) and Trend Micro (Irving, TX) – which will develop an operational cyber threat intelligence capability to inform cyber risk maritime decision-making.

Salvador Technologies (Rehovot, Israel) and Bastazo (Fayetteville, AR) – which will develop a solution for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) vulnerability management, monitoring, and rapid recovery from cyber-attacks.

Cyber 2.0 (Rishon Letzion, Israel) and Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport (Hebron, KY) – which will develop a platform for airports and air traffic that provides continuous cyber visibility, real-time monitoring, and data traffic detection to reduce risks and boost compliance with regulations.

A fourth project – which will develop an airport cyber protection solution across the entire attack surface.
The above projects were submitted in response to the first BIRD Cyber call.

“We are pleased to jointly invest with our Israeli partners in these innovative projects and anticipate that they will deliver new capabilities to enhance the cybersecurity posture and overall resilience of vital critical sectors in both nations,” said Megan Mahle, Director of the DHS S&T Office of Industry Partnerships. Aviram Atzaba, Executive Director for International Cooperation of INCD, added: “We are proud to partner with DHS to develop cutting-edge solutions for small and medium-sized businesses and critical infrastructure cybersecurity… The BIRD mechanism continues to strengthen the strategic alliance between Israel and the United States.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, BIRD Cyber Program)
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