State officials break down cyber security strategy

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Protecting sensitive information online more may have gotten easier here in New York. State officials announced a new cybersecurity strategy which uses budget funds to provide money to healthcare IT and the police department. Experts say as we become more reliant on technology, there will be more pathways for our computer systems to be compromised. This can cause issues for health care facilities, businesses and your average New Yorker. 

“In my world this is a different kind of cyber attack. It’s an attack on the psychology of our children our daughters, particularly. When one out of three teenage girls, entertains thoughts of suicide, because they’ve been attacked or bullied or made to feel worthless,” said Governor Hochul at a press event on Wednesday.

In an effort to combat cyber bullying and child trafficking, the state has invested over seven million dollars into specific police units. This includes computer crimes, cyber analysis and internet crimes against children. “So making ourselves aware of the Internet, crimes against children, and the importance of working together. Obviously, that’s a long issue that’s a complex issue,” said Colin Ahern, Chief Cyber Officer of New York.

Additionally, $500 million dollars will be provided to the healthcare IT system. In 2021 a ransomware attack happened in Suffolk County, forcing government workers to continue work the old fashioned way; using pen and paper as well as fax machines to go about business. Ahern explained what phishing scams are, “… A malicious actor, a criminal will email you a file which has malicious software in it that they trick you to click on. They might also try to exploit what are called ‘known vulnerabilities’ so try to attack your computer via the internet.”

Our Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige was told, the state is working closely with the federal government to disrupt attempted attacks. Ahern also said we have a responsibility to help those who may not be tech savvy, “It can be as simple as helping your loved ones update their devices, helping them understand what scams might look like, there’s some great resources that the state provides with the department of financial services and others about scams.”

The state is also expanding SUNY programs into more high tech cyber research to bulk up the  workforce.