The U.S. Department of Treasury and Israel’s Ministry of Finance on Sunday established a bilateral partnership that will focus on protecting financial infrastructure and countering ransomware, part of the Biden administration’s push to strengthen international cooperation in combatting ransomware.
“Harnessing both the power of international cooperation and of technology innovation will position us to support economic competitiveness, prosperity, and to combat global threats including ransomware,” Wally Adeyemo, deputy Treasury Secretary, said in a statement. “As the global economy recovers and ransomware and other illicit finance threats present a grave challenge to Israel and the United States, increased information exchanges, joint work, and collaboration on policy, regulation, and enforcement are critical to our economic and national security objectives.”
The U.S.-Israeli Task Force on Fintech and Cybersecurity is focused on the goals of financial technology innovation and countering cyber threats to the global economy by nation-states and criminals. Treasury said that the task force will begin developing a memorandum of understanding in three areas, including permissible information sharing in the financial sector such as cybersecurity regulations, guidance, incidents and threat intelligence, staff training and study visits for cooperation in cybersecurity and the financial systems, and competency-building activities such as cybersecurity exercises for financial and investment flows of global financial institutions.
The task fore will also conduct technical exchanges on policy, regulations and outreach to support financial technology innovation and cybersecurity to advance compliance with international standards on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. The department said the exchanges will review how cyber analytics firms and financial technology regulators are developing new ways to mitigate illicit finance risk and to enhance public sector enforcement activities.
In October, the White House virtually gathered representatives of more than 30 countries to accelerate cooperation on countering ransomware.