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October 09, 2019

A New York University gets Cybersecurity Pilot Program Thanks to Chuck Schumer

New York and other states have been increasingly getting hacked. Schools and hospitals have as well.

None of this is a surprise to UAlbany as they have been training students how to counter hacking and cyber attacks through its emerging cybersecurity program.

"People often think of it as only a big problem when you're dealing with banks or large institutions but it's a really a problem we're dealing with every single day," said Dr. Johanna Duncan-Poitier, SUNY’s senior vice chancellor for community colleges.

What brought this home of course was a recent cyber attack that cost the city of Albany more than $300,000.

"We are looking at estimates that the global cost of hacking and cyber attacks is approaching $6 trillion," said Robert Griffin, dean of UAlbany’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity.

"Hacking has unfortunately become almost part of our everyday life here in the Capital Region and throughout New York," U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said.

Speaking on campus Monday, Schumer said the SUNY system is poised to become a national leader in combating cyber threats. With a national shortage of roughly 300,000 cybersecurity workers and a statewide shortage of 15,000, he announced support for a more than $3 million educational pilot program.

He also said the nation has seen a spike in cyber-attacks in recent years, targeting the stability of American elections, as well as major employers like Equifax, leading to the exposure of personal information, including the Social Security numbers of over 100 million people.

“This groundbreaking cyber pilot program would be a win-win-win for UAlbany, students, privacy and security in the United States,” he said.

How your organization can stay safe and reduce the risk of such a fine:

1) Determine if you are in possession of private information for New York residents, even if you are not conducting business in New York. This may be the opportunity to assess whether you need to retain this information for ongoing business purposes.

2) Ensure that you have administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in place that comply with the requirements of the SHIELD Act.

3) Develop, or revisit, internal policies for how the company will identify and respond to a data breach. Ensure that your employees understand the policies and that they are properly implemented and followed!

4) This is a good time to re-evaluate corporate cybersecurity – new attacks are launched constantly against organizations. We reported recently that a new IRS scam warning has been disseminated by the IRS – warning people to be careful not to click on emails from the organization as they are likely malicious messages disguised to look like they emanated from the agency.

5) Read cybersecurity essentials – a simple list which will help most organizations become far more secure.

6) Go to a phishing simulation vendor now and sign up for one of their offerings. Phishing BoxKnowBe4 and Phish360; are all great.

7) We also recommend you get a free evaluation of your cybersecurity risk from an MSP/MSSP immediately – they can also help you build in the needed compliance to reduce the risk of being fined.

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