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Hochul outlines cybersecurity for New York as threats mount | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


New York State on Wednesday unveiled a cybersecurity coordination plan, addressing a concern of local and federal officials in an increasingly fractious world.

Describing increasingly brazen cybercriminals keen to attack the nation’s financial capital, Gov. Hochul said New York was “bulking” up its protections and better aligning agencies and communities to face down the threat.

Hochul said the cybersecurity strategy, outlined in a 15-page document released by her office, came as part of a nation-leading “model on how to protect our people, but also our state and our nation.”

“We are a prime target,” the governor said at a news conference held in an NYU engineering building in Brooklyn. “There are increased cyber authority threats, and attacks, from places like Russia and China, because everybody knows New York.”

The report, branded as the state’s “first-ever cybersecurity strategy,” marks the latest effort by state officials to align its cybersecurity efforts. Last month, the White House published a federal cybersecurity implementation plan.

Jake Braun, the Biden administration’s acting principal deputy director for national cybersecurity, said in the news conference that New York had developed a “bold affirmative vision for keeping New Yorkers safe.”

Cyber attacks could have devastating effects on New York’s transportation, public health, law enforcement and energy infrastructure. Foreign hackers have been known to bust into Americans’ emails, and implant malware into computer codes used to run U.S infrastructure. There is concern foreign actors could cripple an American city with a cyberattack.

In its last budget, the state committed $500 million to reinforce IT and health care infrastructure, according to Hochul’s office.

The budget also included $7.4 million to enhance the New York State Police’s cyber analysis unit, computer crimes unit and internet crimes against children center, Hochul’s office said.

Last year, the Hochul administration launched a statewide office, the Joint Security Operations Center, to improve coordination between local cybersecurity offices and to provide real-time advice when attacks occur.

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Mayor Adams has said his predecessor, Bill de Blasio, warned him that cybersecurity risks posed the top threat to New York City, and that attempted digital attacks ripple through the city each day.

And Janno Lieber, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said cybersecurity has increasingly become one of the authority’s highest priorities.

Cybercriminals are already inflicting pain on New Yorkers. Last year, about 25,000 people were victims of cybercrimes, according to an FBI report. The costs to the victims came out to more than $777 million, the FBI said.

“Cyber criminals are determined to disrupt our systems and our lives. Their intent is nothing but malicious – statement of fact, and they’re only getting more brazen,” Hochul said Wednesday. “We must stay vigilant, proactive, and always be prepared.”

Her strategy outlines goals for cybersecurity benchmarks, sets objectives for individual workers at state agencies and underscores the state’s commitment to individual municipalities, the governor’s office said.

“This strategy also acknowledges that cybersecurity and resilience are collective public, private, and individual responsibilities,” said the strategy report.

“Breaches that span thousands of devices and multiple networks often come down to a single opened email or file,” the report added. “Every New Yorker has a role to play in cybersecurity, from an employee at a state agency to a resident seeking to access government services via the Internet.”

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