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Israel’s mission to the United Nations hosts unique cyber summit

The event at U.N. headquarters focused on developing public-private cooperation to deter global cyber threats.

From left: Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan, the INCD's Executive Director of International Cooperation Aviram Atzaba, Corporate Vice President of Security Business Development at Microsoft Ann Johnson, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Team 8 Nadav Zafrir. Credit: Team 8.
From left: Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan, the INCD's Executive Director of International Cooperation Aviram Atzaba, Corporate Vice President of Security Business Development at Microsoft Ann Johnson, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Team 8 Nadav Zafrir. Credit: Team 8.

Israel’s mission to the United Nations on Tuesday hosted a first-of-its-kind cyber summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City.

The Israeli mission partnered with Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (INCD) and Israel-based venture group Team 8 for the event, called Stronger Together: Collaboration for a Cyber-Safe World.

In his remarks, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan said, “As a cyber defense powerhouse, Israel has a deep sense of duty to support others in the field. And by assisting member states in fortifying their cyber defense abilities, we create a win-win situation for all: A safer future for everyone.”

Senior technology officials pushed for more cooperation, aiming to develop new tools to deal with the pervasive threats of cyber-attacks on critical civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, banks and government offices.

“We need to work together to bring all nations above the cyber poverty line. First, we should acknowledge that digital infrastructure is critical infrastructure, said Nadav Zafrir, the co-founder and managing partner of Team 8. “We should understand that knowledge sharing is the right thing to do. Then, we should create an environment for world collaboration and build the technologies to do so.”

U.S. Principal Deputy National Cyber Director Kemba Eneas Walden, Zafrir, the UN’s Chief Information Technology Officer Assistant Secretary-General Bernando Mariano Joaquim Junior, and the INCD’s Executive Director of International Cooperation Aviram Atzaba all addressed the event. 

Additionally, Zafrir hosted a panel of private-sector cyber experts from giants such as Microsoft, Rockwell Automation and JupiterOne. 

“Today, in an age where the battlefield is moving from geographical arenas to the digital sphere, the key to achieving collective defense is by working as a joint global team. And the United Nations, the center stage of international diplomacy, is an ideal place to pursue such a crucial mission,” said Erdan, who has focused on Israeli technology as a means to advance diplomacy.

“It is here that we share best practices, hold discussions, and learn from one another. And it is here that we can build an iron dome—a defensive shield—against cyber-attacks and digital threats,” Erdan added. “It is the responsibility of all of us to work side-by-side to ensure the safety of each of us.”

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