Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York fortifying its cyber defenses amid tensions with Russia

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Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York fortifying its cyber defenses amid tensions with Russia

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Sunday night that the state is beefing up its cybersecurity defenses in anticipation of possible cyber attacks ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In light of current geopolitical uncertainty, earlier today I convened cabinet members from relevant areas to review our ongoing cybersecurity preparedness efforts and make sure that New Yorkers, our institutions, and our critical infrastructure are protected from cyber-facilitated disruptions,” Hochul said in a statement on Sunday.

“We are in regular touch with the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure coordination.”

On Friday, The White House warned American companies to brace for possible Russian cyberattacks after learning that Kremlin hackers hit Ukrainian targets with a series of recent attacks. 

“As many of you know, the government doesn’t own or operate critical infrastructure that provides critical services to our citizens. For example, our water and power systems,” top cybersecurity official Anne Neuberger said at a White House briefing.

Russian government hackers allegedly hit Ukraine with a series of cyberattacks last week.
Russian government hackers allegedly hit Ukraine with a series of cyberattacks last week.
AP

“I cannot stress this enough: We urge our private sector partners to exercise incident response plans and put in place the cybersecurity defenses like encryption and multi-factor authentication that make cyber attacks harder for even sophisticated cyber actors.”

Hochul said Sunday that New York state is “an attractive target for cyber criminals and foreign adversaries” due to its leading financial, healthcare, energy and transportation institutions. 

The governor has proposed $62 million to strengthen the state’s cyber defenses in this year’s state budget, more than double the amount allocated last year.

“It is my top priority to keep New Yorkers safe, and we will remain vigilant by continuing to monitor for threats and ramping up our cybersecurity shields as necessary,” Hochul said.

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