To protect the state of New York against hobbling attacks, governor Kathy Hochul formed a cybersecurity task force on Tuesday.
Hochul presented to the media the new statewide office, the Joint Security Operations Center, as a “nerve center” meant to improve coordination between local cybersecurity offices and to provide real-time advice when attacks strike.
Accompanied by New York City mayor Eric Adams, Hochul officially opened the office of the cybersecurity task force in a gleaming, screen-filled downtown Brooklyn.
Sources said Hochul decided to form the task force due to the recent invasion of Russia to Ukraine which e seemingly tugging America back into a Cold War that could be fought on digital wavelengths.
“We realize that we’re only as strong as our weakest link,” Hochul said.
“Our cities and our counties — they’re connected to our state operations. So, an attack on them could lead to a larger attack and disruption,” Hochul added.
Hochul revealed that New York, a hub of finance and other industries, faces unique risks from cyber attacks.
She said the state is hoping to hire 70 cybersecurity professionals and to send some $30 million toward local cybersecurity efforts.
“The threat of cyberattacks is very real, particularly now,” she said.
“That is the warning we’re receiving out of Washington. Particularly for a place like New York. And therefore, our state and our city should be taking a leading role in fortifying our defenses,” she added.
Meanwhile, Adams said he signed a directive Tuesday that will require that each city agency designates an officer to coordinate with the state cyber command center.
“This is a threat that touches all New Yorkers, every agency,” Adams said.