US Department of Treasury to Work with Israel on Ransomware Threat, Partner on Fintech

The US Department of Treasury has announced it will work with Israel in a partnership to combat the threat of ransomware. The two countries also affirmed a commitment to encouraging “robust Fintech innovation,” while also reinforcing the necessity of working together to combat cyber threats.

According to a note from Treasury, the US will work with the Israeli Ministry of Finance and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to protect critical financial infrastructure and emerging technologies and expand international cooperation to counter the threat of ransomware.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo met with Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Director General of the National Cyber Directorate Yigal Unna in Israel to solidify the partnership.

The partnership will operate under the auspices of a broader U.S.-Israeli Task Force, launched today, on Fintech Innovation and Cybersecurity.

Adeyemo, commented on the arrangement:

“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. 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.”

Treasury states that the Task Force will immediately begin work on developing a Memorandum of Understanding supporting:

(1) permissible information sharing related to the financial sector, including cybersecurity regulations and guidance, cybersecurity incidents, and cybersecurity threat intelligence;

(2) staff training and study visits to promote cooperation in the area of cybersecurity and the financial system; and,

(3) competency-building activities such as the conduct of cross-border cybersecurity exercises linked to global financial institutions financial and investment flows.

The Task Force will also launch a series of expert technical exchanges on policy, regulation, and outreach to support Fintech innovation that is said to feature robust cybersecurity protections including compliance regarding anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, and countering the financing of proliferation.

The technical exchanges will also examine how cyber analytics firms, as well as Fintech and Regtech innovators, are developing new ways to mitigate illicit finance risk and to enhance public sector analytical and enforcement activities.

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