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New York Launches Joint Cybersecurity Centre

Personal computer protected from external attacks by a brick wall. Digital illustration.

To improve coordination and bolster cybersecurity efforts related to data collection and information sharing, New York has launched the Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) to bring together federal, state, county, local governments and critical infrastructure partners. JSOC will provide leaders from across the state a comprehensive overview of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination regarding threat intelligence and incident response.

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 rigour and seriousness. 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 centre will strengthen our ability to protect New York’s institutions, infrastructure, our citizens and public safety.

– Kathy Sheehan, Albany Mayor

JSOC will become a first-of-its-kind data-sharing hub designed to improve New York’s cybersecurity posture, officials said. The centre will be headquartered in Brooklyn and offer cybersecurity teams a centralized view of threat data from federal, state, city and county governments, critical businesses and utilities. This project is part of Hochul’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which allocates a historic $61.9 million toward cybersecurity. It will expand New York’s cyber red team program that will broaden the phishing defences, increase vulnerability scanning, expand penetration testing and deliver other cyber incident response services. These investments will ensure that the state can isolate and protect parts of its system if one part of the network is attacked.

In her budget proposal, Hochul also included a $30 million shared services program to give local government and regional partners that do not have the funding to fend off cyberattacks the opportunity to deploy high-quality defences.

Historically, state agencies have conducted independent cybersecurity efforts. However, acting alone is no longer considered the optimal approach, as the increased frequency and sophistication of attacks have prompted entities to rely on each other for support. New York in particular is a prime target for cybersecurity attacks, as the state’s prominent role in finance, energy, transportation and health care make it an attractive target for cybercriminals looking to disrupt operations. JSOC is expected to become operational in the coming months.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, U.S. researchers have discovered an inexpensive way for tech companies to implement a rigorous form of personal data privacy when using or sharing large databases for machine learning. The researchers aim to solve the problem with a new method using a technique called locality sensitive hashing. They found they could create a small summary of an enormous database of sensitive records. The method is both safe to make publicly available and useful for algorithms that use kernel sums, one of the basic building blocks of machine learning, and for machine-learning programs that perform common tasks like classification, ranking and regression analysis.

The new method scales for high-dimensional data. The sketches are small and the computational and memory requirements for constructing them are also easy to distribute. Engineers today must either sacrifice their budget or the privacy of their users if they wish to use kernel sums. This new method changes the economics of releasing high-dimensional information with differential privacy. This latest method is simple, fast and 100 times less expensive to run than existing methods.

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