New York’s $30 Million Shared Services Program to Fortify Cyber Defenses in Local Counties
New York’s counties and certain cities in the state will share some $30 million worth of services to fortify government agencies’ cybersecurity defenses against ransomware attacks, Governor Kathy Hochul said.
As part of the program, local counties and the cities of Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, and Yonkers — partners in New York’s Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) — will be offered CrowdStrike endpoint detection and response (EDR) services free of charge.
The EDR services will be set up to detect and isolate a compromised endpoint. The EDR will also enable New York State cyber security teams to effectively track sophisticated attacks and promptly uncover incidents, as well as triage, validate and prioritize them, leading to faster and more precise remediation, officials said.
New York Cyber Command Maintains State’s Readiness
The Brooklyn-based JSOC serves as New York’s cyber command center housing cybersecurity assets from multiple levels of government partners under one roof. It’s designed to blunt an attack that could readily spread across New York’s interconnected networks and IT services.
Many of New York’s local governments currently do not have resources necessary to protect their systems from cyberattacks and ransomware. These include systems that provide critical services, such as healthcare, emergency management, utility services as well as law enforcement.
“My administration is laser focused on providing cyber security resources for local governments,” Hochul said. “By launching this new $30 million program, we are bolstering the state’s capabilities to respond to the evolving threat of cyberattacks and strengthening our ability to protect New York’s institutions, infrastructure, citizens and public safety.”
New York Appoints Chief Cyber Officer
Last month, Hochul appointed Colin Ahern, an international cybersecurity expert and military veteran, as its first ever chief cyber officer, four months after the JSOC opened. Ahern is responsible for coordinating cyber threat information sharing, linking New York State, New York City, local and regional governments, critical infrastructure stakeholders, and federal partners.
Ahern is also tasked with overseeing New York’s sprawling cross agency cybersecurity apparatus to protect the state from looming cyber threats. He is credited with expertise in cyber resiliency and intelligence stemming from a career in private industry, the military and academia.
Indeed, Ahern has his hands full. In addition to leading the JSOC, New York’s hub for cyber threat and detection, here’s what’s also on his to-do list:
- Administer all cyber threat assessment, mitigation, and response efforts.
- Work with executive management at every state agency to manage cyber risks and prevent attacks.
- Ensure critical services like healthcare, law enforcement, emergency management, water treatment, and unemployment insurance are not disrupted.