The Israeli military this week held its first joint cyber drill with Thai forces, the Israel Defense Forces’ Spokesperson’s Unit said Wednesday.

The training drill was conducted by the Israel Defense Forces’ Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence Directorate (C4I), as part of a program that has been in place since 2018.

“Cyber threats are a global trend, and most countries worldwide invest in developing defenses for their digital assets. The more technologically advanced a country is—the greater the challenge,” explained IDF Col. A.

The training provided by the IDF to foreign forces “is designed to meet and further hone their capabilities so as to foster learning and success, not to present impossible challenges,” he added.

“The biggest challenge is relevance— to make sure the scenarios we present are similar to real operational issues in the digital sphere—that they [military personnel] have the relevant tools to counter feasible scenarios,” he said.

The IDF is considered one of the most advanced militaries in the world in the cyber arena, with many foreign forces seeking its advice and training.

During 2019, the IDF hosted delegations from eight countries for cyber training, and is expected to host at least as many in 2020.

Training is tailored to each delegation, explained Col. A.

“We mustn’t underestimate anyone who invests … in these processes, and our goal is to foster learning. We have no interest in having people sit in front of a computer and not knowing what to do. We aim for a successful result and a positive experience,” said Col. A.

The Thai officers, he noted, “were definitely up to speed and up to standard, and met all the challenges we presented. They were impressed with our cyber defenders’ operations and that is an honor for the IDF and its soldiers.”

Cooperation between militaries is imperative in the cyber sphere, he noted.

“In cyber defense, we never know where the next threat will come from. In 99 percent of cases, the threat comes not directly from the [enemy], but through a third party, so such collaborations foster valuable ties for a rainy day.”

This article was first published by Israel Hayom.

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