British-Israeli security co-operation took another huge step forward this week when the two countries’ cyber defence agencies pledged to work closely together.

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Eviatar Matania of the Israeli National Cyber Bureau signing the pact with James Quinault of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance

The heads of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau and Britain’s Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance met in London to set up a bilateral fund, with the aim of financing joint research into cyber defence.

“Britain is one of the most advanced countries in the world on cyber defence, and we place great importance on promoting and strengthening cooperation with our UK partners,” said Dr. Eviatar Matania, head of the Israeli agency.

“We believe that mutual sharing of knowledge will strengthen both countries.”

Israeli expertise has been developed partly in response to repeated hacks by the country’s ideological enemies, with concerted attempts to attack Israeli sites and servers in recent years.

In response, Israeli hacker collectives have gone on the offensive, targeting groups such as ‘Anonymous’ who repeatedly target Israeli capabilities.

More recently, it was revealed that Israeli spy agency Shin Bet had set up an elite unit to deal with the challenge.

“Cyber is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” said the Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. “There is a national imperative to invest in this field.”