New York plans cybersecurity hub to coordinate responses

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York wants to improve its cybersecurity defenses and will open a joint operations center in the coming months to coordinate between government agencies, critical businesses and utilities, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday.

Hochul said the Brooklyn-based hub will have a staff of 70 – both in-person and virtual – to provide “a centralized viewpoint of threat data" on the federal, state and local levels.

“New York’s leadership in finance, energy, transportation, healthcare, and other critical fields makes the State an attractive target for cyberattacks,” Hochul said, adding that it no longer makes sense for the state’s various agencies to simply go it alone.

The Democratic governor has proposed a budget with $62 million for cybersecurity improvements at the state level and a $30 million fund to help local governments afford upgrades.

Until the new Joint Security Operations Center is ready, she said the state will work with city and regional leaders on cyber trainings and exercises. She said the center will analyze cybersecurity trends that otherwise might have gone undetected.

“By collaborating and sharing literally just one space … we’re going to be able to enhance our ability to respond to any attacks, as well as prevent them,” Hochul said.

The move comes on the same day that the Department of Homeland Security warned of potential cyberattacks in the U.S. amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.