Defending New York City’s Digital Front Line

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Defending New Yorkers against criminals and terrorists has been a priority for city leaders and law enforcement for quite some time, but in the last couple of years, officials have taken more aggressive steps to protect the city from the threat actors that often go unseen but can wreak havoc with city infrastructure, leading to loss of life, in the worst case scenario. 

Cyber threat actors have targeted several U.S. cities in recent years.  Officials from Atlanta to Baltimore can tell you just how these cyber criminals strike and how important it is for cities to be prepared.

There have also been warnings from intelligence officials for years that a Cyber 9/11 is coming – an attack that could target national critical infrastructure – and leaders in New York are taking a similar approach to the one they took after 9/11, and not waiting on the federal government, or relying on its resources, to protect them.

Earlier this year, officials announced the creation of the New York City Cyber Critical Services and Infrastructure (CCSI), which is a group dedicated to making sure lines of communication between the public and private sectors are being utilized in ways that will secure critical city functions from emergency services to nuclear reactors.  They are doing it much like they did after 9/11 to protect the city from further terrorist attacks, by sharing intelligence and providing coordinated responses to cyber events. 

The city created its own Cyber Command by way of Executive Order in July 2017.  That organization is charged with leading the city’s cyber defense efforts and Geoff Brown is the man leading that charge.  The Cipher Brief’s soon-to-be-announced Cyber Initiatives Group spoke with Brown about the challenges associated with building a centralized organization that will keep New Yorkers safe from cyber threats.

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