Israel has donated US$2 million to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), strengthening the organization’s hands to fight much more vigorously against the growing wave of cyberattacks in the region.
The grant will lead to establishing a new cyber security initiative, the IDB stated in a press release. The announcement comes months after Israeli former Cyber Director-General Yigal Unna met with IDB President Claver-Carone.
“The cybersecurity initiative is paving the way for the safe and secure digitalization of Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the key elements for growth in the post-COVID era,” stressed Matan Lev-Ari, Israel’s representative at the IDB’s Board.
Cyber attacks in Latin America increased by more than 20% in 2021, according to antivirus software maker Kaspersky.
Barely 7 out of 32 countries in the region have critical infrastructure protection plans, according to IDB’s own report published in 2020. The bank estimated that cyber incidents caused US$90 billion in economic damage in 2019.
“Israel is a recognized global leader in cybersecurity and digital innovation,” stated IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone.
“Thanks to Israel’s financial support, unique expertise, and our expanding partnership, we will be better positioned to help our member countries apply top-tier standards to withstand the most difficult threats.”
The IDB teamed up with the Jewish state in 2016 to enhance cybersecurity capabilities across different economic sectors providing critical services, and improving organizational capacity to boost cyber defenses.