BEIRUT — United Arab Emirates firm Beacon Red and U.S.-based Quali announced an agreement to work together to deliver cyber training and testing environments to Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Beacon Red CEO Mauricio De Almeida told Defense News that the joint cybersecurity services will be available to all six nations in the bloc, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

“Within each country, the system will provide cybersecurity and related services for governments, military and critical infrastructure projects, allowing each customer to choose the appropriate environment that best suits their individual needs,” he said.

With Quali’s cloud infrastructure automation platform and Beacon Red’s cybersecurity, training and intelligence portfolio, the companies said they can rapidly build complex environments that mix virtual and physical features. The businesses will design cyber range scenarios and secure environments to validate projects.

“We are already working with several interested clients on their specific use cases and shell development requirements,” De Almeida said.

He did not provide any financial details about the companies’ strategic relationship, calling the deal unquantifiable in its early stages. Both companies invested significantly in the partnership, he added. Beacon Red is part of the UAE-owned Edge Group military conglomerate.

“Partnering for knowledge-sharing and joint collaboration is a critical area of focus for both Beacon Red and Edge as we aim to strengthen our local sovereign defense capabilities.”

Quali and Beacon Red are past the prototype stage and have a final solution, called the Cyber Range on Wheels and Cyber Lab on Wheels, De Almeida said. The idea launched in February at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in UAE, and the companies are continuing to expand capabilities ahead of ISS World Middle East and Africa trade show in June in the country.

Customers can use the services to emulate production environments without disrupting or negatively impacting the actual environments, De Almeida said.

“This is extremely valuable for sensitive environments where you want to test the integration of new security solutions, conduct vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, detonate malware, and test software upgrades in a safe but realistic environment. Based on recent supply chain and industrial control system attacks this solution can significantly help in defeating real threats.”

Agnes Helou was a Middle East correspondent for Defense News. Her interests include missile defense, cybersecurity, the interoperability of weapons systems and strategic issues in the Middle East and Gulf region.

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