NYC opens cyber operations center

New York City is opening a cybersecurity operations center staffed with 282 public- and private-sector partners who will be sharing intelligence on potential cyber threats.

Until last week, the New York City Cyber Critical Services and Infrastructure initiative, which was first launched in 2019, was a virtual program. Its goal is “to increase communication about cyber risks and lay a foundation to that will facilitate coordination and formal response mechanism in the event of a cyber-attack on any piece of our City’s critical infrastructure,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. and New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea said at the time.

Now the operation has moved into a lower Manhattan building, making New York the first city to have a real-time cybersecurity operational center, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Members of the group include NYPD, New York City Cyber Command, the city’s chief information security officer, the Federal Reserve Bank, Amazon, IBM, several New York healthcare systems and the Global Cyber Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing cyber risks. 

New York City is considered especially vulnerable due to its reputation as a center of global financial power. The rise of ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure makes the information sharing initiative all the more urgent. 

“If any city in America needs this cross-sector and government collaboration, it’s us,” Vance told the WSJ. 

“Cities increasingly depend on cyber,” said Global Cyber Alliance President and CEO Philip Reitinger. “Everything is connected.”

In November, project’s members worked to respond to a ransomware attack on Brooklyn Hospital’s network. The team spent a week on-site, rooting out malware and reconfiguring hospital servers, officials told the paper.

As soon as there is a cyber event anywhere in the country, the group prepares in case an attack breaches the New York region, the WSJ said. The collective has also conducted “war games” at the IBM cyber range where participants practice coordinating their responses to simulated attacks.

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