Aiming to protect critical infrastructure in both Israel and Canada, the Israel Electric Corporation is joining hands with the Hydro-Québec utility to cooperate on projects in the cybersecurity sector.IEC and Hydro-Québec – a major supplier, manager and distributor of electricity in the province of Québec – signed an agreement Monday to collaborate on best practices and share information and knowledge in this field. As government-owned utilities, both companies share the same goal of providing continuous electricity while protecting electrical infrastructure and operations, a joint statement from the firms said.“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Hydro-Québec to join forces with a company with world-renowned expertise,” said Michael Penner, Hydro-Québec’s chairman of the board. “The velocity with which new technologies are deploying incites companies and countries to collaborate and exchange on significant trends in order to stay ahead.”As perhaps the most critical network of infrastructure in any country, power grids must be protected not only for economic reasons but also to safeguard public health and security, according to the companies.Given the increase in cyber threats across the globe, coupled with the speed at which technology is developing, the firms described their new partnership as a natural step toward tackling shared interests and challenges.“Cyber threats are increasing exponentially due to the complexity of the infrastructures and the goal of improving the service to customers with projects as smart grids,” said Ofer Bloch, CEO of the IEC. “On top of that, the hackers are getting more sophisticated and organized.”In the next few months, IEC and Hydro-Québec will be setting up a steering committee, as well as hosting reciprocal site visits, launching discussion forums and beginning research and development programs, the companies said. “The cooperation between two strong companies as Hydro-Québec and IEC will give our ability to hedge against cyber threats a significant boost,” Bloch added.