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May 17, 2024

New York Takes Action on Cybersecurity with New Legislation and Initiatives

New Legislation to Secure Technology Procurement

Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar has introduced a crucial bill, A9312, aimed at protecting New York from cyber threats by prohibiting the state and its municipalities from purchasing technology from international companies considered security risks by the federal government. This measure seeks to prevent sensitive information from being transmitted to foreign entities or exploited for cyberattacks. Rajkumar's office highlighted that despite federal restrictions, many New York municipalities have continued to procure banned technology, spending millions on potentially insecure products. The bill is currently with the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee, while the Senate version is in the Procurement and Contracts Committee.

Governor Hochul's Cybersecurity Initiatives

Governor Kathy Hochul has been proactive in strengthening New York's cybersecurity framework. Earlier this year, she announced the state's first-ever cybersecurity strategy, which outlines a comprehensive approach to building cyber resilience across New York. This strategy emphasizes unification, resilience, and preparedness, aiming to protect critical infrastructure and personal data from malicious attacks. The Governor's administration has also launched a shared services program to provide cybersecurity support to county and local governments, covering over 65,000 government-owned computers.

Cybersecurity Grant Plan and Regulatory Updates

In response to increasing cyber threats, Governor Hochul unveiled the New York Cybersecurity Grant Plan, backed by nearly $6 million in federal funding, to bolster local governments' defenses. The plan is part of a broader effort that includes updates to the state's cybersecurity regulations for financial services, which now require enhanced governance, regular risk assessments, and robust incident response plans. These measures ensure that entities are well-equipped to handle cyber threats and maintain the integrity of their systems.

Recent Cyberattacks and Their Impact

New York has faced significant cyber threats, including a recent attack on the state legislature's bill drafting office, which delayed the state budget process. Governor Hochul emphasized that her cybersecurity team is actively addressing the issue, highlighting the importance of robust cyber defenses to mitigate such disruptions. This incident underscores the need for continued vigilance and investment in cybersecurity infrastructure to protect against evolving threats.

Support for the Semiconductor Industry

Rajkumar's bill also aims to support New York's semiconductor industry, exemplified by the planned $100 billion Micron Technology facility in Clay, NY. This initiative aligns with broader efforts to enhance the state's technological capabilities and secure its cyber infrastructure.

Statements from Lawmakers and Industry Leaders

Leaders across various sectors have expressed strong support for these initiatives. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other representatives have emphasized the critical need for advanced cyber defenses to protect New York's infrastructure and communities. State officials, including the Superintendent of Financial Services and the State Chief Cyber Officer, have lauded the Governor's comprehensive strategy and regulatory updates as vital steps toward safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining cyber resilience.

New York's multifaceted approach to cybersecurity, from legislative measures to strategic initiatives and regulatory enhancements, demonstrates a robust commitment to protecting its citizens and infrastructure from cyber threats in an increasingly digital world.

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Aside from his role as CEO of Apex Technology Services, Rich Tehrani is CEO of RT Advisors and a Registered Representative (investment banker) with and offering securities through Four Points Capital Partners LLC (Four Points) (Member FINRA/SIPC). RT Advisors is not owned by Four Points.

The above is not an endorsement or recommendation to buy/sell any security or sector mentioned. No companies mentioned above are current or past clients of RT Advisors.

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