State Watch

NYC becomes first city to set up center to address cybersecurity

New York City opened an operational center to address cybersecurity threats amid ongoing attacks against U.S. infrastructure, agencies and businesses. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new center opened in lower Manhattan and it has nearly 282 partners, including government agencies and private businesses, that share intelligence concerning cyber threats. The outlet reported that the center is the first of its kind. 

Several of New York’s health care systems, the Federal Reserve Bank, the New York Police Department and are all members of the coalition that staffs the center, the Journal reported.

The new center is a physical continuation of the New York City Cyber Critical Services and Infrastructure, which has been a two-year effort and previously all run virtually. 

New York in particular is at high risk for these kinds of attacks because it is a hub for American business and financial power, the news outlet noted.

“If any city in America needs this cross-sector and government collaboration, it’s us,” Manhattan District AttorneyCyrus Vance Jr., who was one of the founding members of the project, told the Journal.
News of the center comes amid a slew of cyber attacks on critical businesses and agencies across the United States. Last week, Miami-based technology firm Kaseya’s security was breached, an attack that resulted in hundreds of companies around the world being immobilized, with schools, businesses, public sector groups and credit unions among the firms who have been affected. 
The New York Police Department, New York City Cyber Command and Global Cyber Alliance, along with a nonprofit dedicated to mitigating cyber risks, first launched the New York City Cyber Critical Services and Infrastructure project in 2019 with a goal to come together and intervene in the event of a cyberattack.
In November, the coalition responded to a ransomware attack on Brooklyn Hospital’s network. At the time, the team spent nearly a week reconfiguring the hospital’s servers and searching for malware, officials told the news outlet.
“When one major piece of critical infrastructure is under attack, they’re all under attack,”said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller. “If those entities fail, all our response plans fail with them.”
Since its launch the New York center reportedly has sought to share information on cyberattacks that occur anywhere in the country in order to prepare if an attack hits the region and has held “war games” at the IBM cyber range, allowing participants to use their own systems to practice stopping a real attack.
“You want to mitigate the surprise,” Geoff Brown, New York City’s chief information security officer and head of its cyber command, told the Journal.
Tags Cyberattack cybersecurity New York Ransomware attack
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