Beersheva-based cybersecurity startup Morphisec will work with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a cybersecurity defense solution for virtual desktop systems, the company announced Wednesday.The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will award a grant to Morphisec through its Silicon Valley Innovation Program to extend, deploy, test and evaluate its patented Moving Target Defense-based cybersecurity system for virtual desktop infrastructure, in an effort to prevent attacks on financial institutions. Morphisec will become the first international business to receive a grant from the S&T’s Financial Services Cyber Security Active Defense Technologies category.Virtual desktop infrastructure refers to desktop operating systems which are hosted on centralized servers in data centers, allowing users to access their desktops from any location at any time. Today, approximately 10% of all enterprise desktops are virtual desktops.Morphisec’s Moving Target Defense technology prevents threats to those systems, including advanced persistent threats, zero-days, ransomware, evasive fileless attacks and web-borne exploits.The global virtual infrastructure software market is currently experiencing rapid growth. Worth approximately $5.26 billion today, the market is expected to reach $15.3 billion by 2023, according to KBV Research published in November 2017.“We are extremely happy to be working with DHS S&T on this critical initiative so we can help improve how we defend and secure rapidly-evolving hybrid computing systems,” said Morphisec CEO Ronen Yehoshua.“This is the first federal project and an important milestone for Morphisec – how fitting that it is with DHS S&T, one of the earliest institutions to single out Moving Target Defense as a critical defense approach for cybersecurity,” Yehoshua said.Founded in 2014, Morphisec started its journey at JVP’s Cyber Lab incubator in Beersheba and the company has raised more than $20 million in funding to date – including backing from venture capital firms JVP, OurCrowd, Deutsche Telekom and GE Ventures.“We see the selection of Morphisec, one of JVP’s leading cybersecurity companies, to support the DHS in protecting financial institutions as another indication for the strength of the Israeli cybersecurity eco-system and our methodology to build category leaders,” said Yoav Tzruya, General Partner at JVP.The cooperation between Morphisec and the DHS is another recognition of Israel’s prowess in the global cybersecurity arena.According to Start-Up Nation Central, Israel was the recipient of 16% of global private cybersecurity investments in 2017, amounting to $815 million in total. Only the US cybersecurity industry benefited from greater investment during the same period.By the end of 2017, there were 420 active cybersecurity companies operating in Israel and a further 30 multinational companies with cybersecurity-related R&D centers in the country.