Walking into the Tel Aviv office of Israel National Cyber Directorate Head Yigal Unna, you immediately notice a very specific memento – a very weighted plaque with a golden plate that he was awarded by his counterparts in the United Arab Emirates. Unna was part of the historic delegation that traveled to Abu Dhabi last month after the landmark peace deal between Israel and the UAE was announced, and the plaque sheds light on the deep cyber and technological ties between the two countries.
“The potential vis-à-vis the UAE is endless,” he told Israel Hayom. “We have the knowledge, tools, and capabilities that can offer the issues they’re dealing with the best solutions in the world.
“In terms of cybersecurity, Israel is one of the most protected countries in the world. We want them to be as protected as we are.”
According to Unna, until now Israeli companies pursued only defense deals in the Persian Gulf. Now that the Abraham Accord is in place, trade can expand to include economic and industrial ventures.
“There are many overtures by Israeli and Gulf companies that want to get started. The cyber sphere connects people and Israel is a powerhouse in this arena – one considerably larger than its physical size or the size of its economy. We have something for every actor in the region, and they all face similar threats as Israel,” he explained.
Israel is one of the countries to sustain the most cyberattacks as a matter of routine. This is the price a highly technologically advanced country has to pay when it deals with its enemies, be they traditional or more amorphous, such as criminal organizations or countries on the other side of the world, like North Korea.