Officials from New York State and in the Hudson Valley are trying to help residents being attacked by international and national hackers.

On Tuesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the creation of a Joint Security Operations Center in Brooklyn that will serve as the nerve center for joint local, state and federal cyber efforts, including data collection, response efforts and information sharing.

A partnership launched with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, and cyber leaders across the state, the JSOC is the nation's first-of-its-kind cyber command center that will provide a statewide view of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination on threat intelligence and incident response.

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"There is a new type of emerging risk that threatens our daily lives, and just as we improved our physical security infrastructure in the aftermath of 9/11, we must now transform how we approach cybersecurity with that same rigor and seriousness," Hochul said. "I'm proud to announce this dynamic and innovative partnership to establish the Joint Security Operations Center in collaboration with New York City, our upstate cities, and government and business leaders across the state. Cybersecurity has been a priority for my administration since Day 1, and this command center will strengthen our ability to protect New York's institutions, infrastructure, our citizens and public safety."

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New York's leadership in finance, energy, transportation, healthcare, and other critical fields makes the State an attractive target for cyberattacks that can disrupt operations, including critical infrastructure and services to citizens, officials say.

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The JSOC will improve defenses by allowing cyber teams to have a centralized viewpoint of threat data. This will yield better collaboration on threat intelligence, reduction in response time, and quicker remediation in the event of a major cyber incident. It will help participating entities respond to potential issues and elevate systemic trends that may have otherwise gone undetected. This approach leverages all the cyber defense assets at the state, city, local and authority-level under one umbrella.

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On Wednesday, in response to local governments becoming increasingly susceptible to cybersecurity threats over the past decade, Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed an Executive Order to create a Task Force on Cybersecurity.

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“It is crucial that Westchester County take the necessary steps to anticipate and prepare for a possible cybersecurity threat, which could pose a significant risk to our water systems and utilities, school districts and healthcare facilities, airport and other County operations," Latimer said.

The Task Force will be charged with reviewing the County’s current cybersecurity policies, and developing new procedures to enhance the long-standing efforts of the County’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT). Together with DoIT, the Task Force will ensure the County will be protected if it ever fell victim to a major breach or cybersecurity attack.

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“It is clear that cybersecurity is in the news. From ransomware attacks on government infrastructure to non-profits having their donor lists stolen to identity theft in our own homes, we are living in a digital world that continues to evolve new threats from local, national and international bad actors," Former Westchester County Legislator and Chair of the Cybersecurity Task Force Ruth Walter said "We know the costs of doing nothing are too high to pay.”

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