Gov. Hochul, Mayor Adams Collaborate to Fight Cybercrime

Gov. Hochul, Mayor Adams Collaborate to Fight Cybercrime

By Yehudit Garmaise

The FBI has called on the American private sector to be prepared for Russia, which has started to invade Ukraine, to “potentially launch state-sponsored cyberattacks as tensions threaten to spill into an all-out conflict in Eastern Europe.”

In response to the current volatility in the east, Gov. Kathy Hochul is bringing together cyber security experts, data-sharing, and statewide resources to create the first-in-the-nation, Joint Security Statewide Center to better protect against cyberattacks in New York, which saw 85 serious attacks from 2020 to 2021, she said today at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn.

Data-sharing is key, Gov. Hochul said because “small attacks,” such as those that recently took place in Atlanta and Newark, “can be indicators of more to come. How we respond to smaller attacks prepares us for the larger attacks: so by collaborating and sharing one space with 117 desktops, where people will be working together, we are going to be able to better prevent and respond to attacks.”

When Mayor Eric Adams spoke, he remembered that former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s parting words to the new mayor at Gracie Mansion were warnings of cyberattacks.

“What COVID did to our bodies, cyberattacks can disrupt the anatomy of our city and our state,” the mayor recalled de Blasio as saying. “We are talking about a continuous onslaught of those who are attempting to disrupt our way of life: which is so connected to technology.”

New York is at risk of cyberthreats, the governor said because, “We truly live in a digital world when you think about how we access money, pay our bills, make purchases, maintain medical records, keep up our power grids, provide utilities, and keep our transportation systems running.”

“When you can’t see something, you often don’t appreciate its danger,” said Mayor Adams, who said that Matt Frazier, the city’s chief technology officer will coordinate the city’s efforts to fight cybercrime. “Invisible threats do not mean threats are not here.”

“We will be taking a leading role in fortifying our defenses in the battlefield against cyberwarfare, and we will be as relentless in our defense, as the criminals are in their aggression,” Gov. Hochul, who added that New Yorkers have to be extra careful to prevent against threats, as “New York City, the nation’s financial center, is always in the line of sight of terrorists and those who want to disrupt our way of life.” 

To prevent against cyberattacks Gov. Hochul doubled previous investments in cybersecurity, by earmarking $62 million for the state protect against attacks and $30 million for localities to buy what they need “at a subsidized price and get the technological know-how they need to defend themselves.”

 “Cybercriminals are relentless, are motivated, and are maliciously trying to disrupt our systems and distort hospitals and schools for money,” said Gov. Hochul who asked for resumes, as she is looking to hire 70 cybersecurity professionals to join her team.


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