US-based firms Mastercard and Enel X have secured NIS13m ($3.7m) investment and won the rights to establish a new fintech-cybersecurity lab in Be’er Sheva, Israel.

The project is being funded by Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), the National Cyber Directorate, and the Ministry of Finance.

The lab is being established to help entrepreneurs and startups develop cybersecurity capabilities for the financial sector in the country.

The new lab will be eligible for a grant from the IIA to cover 50% of the expenses for establishing the technological infrastructure and operations.

IIA will fund 85% of the costs up to NIS500,000 ($140,000) to the startups onboarded by the lab, in the event of generating a proof of concept.

The participating companies will also gain access to unique insights into cybersecurity fields and previously inaccessible financial data, needs, products, and processes.

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By GlobalData

IIA chairman and Ministry of Finance chief scientist Ami Appelbaum said: “The Lab will assist in strengthening and establishing Israel and Be’er Sheva as a national and international leader in cyber.

“MasterCard, which will operate for the first time in Israel in this field, and Enel X, owned by Enel, a multinational energy group, for which this activity expands on its involvement in Israel.”

National Cyber Directorate director-general Igal Unna added: “This collaboration will make information and hacking scenarios available for the purpose of developing defences for evolving threats that stem from the accelerated digitisation of financial systems.”