Cyber Defense Center Opened in New York City

Published · Jul 18, 2021

A cyber defense center has been established in lower Manhattan. While the physical center is new, the initiative behind it isn’t.

This is a joint operation between private businesses and government agencies. The project, known as NYC Cyber Critical Services and Infrastructure (CCSI), has been ongoing for the past two years as a virtual venture. It was created in response to the rising number of cyberattacks on US-based businesses and agencies.

According to the project’s page, it includes individuals from over 35 organizations across 17 sectors. Private entities like IBM and Amazon, along with government bodies, such as the NYPD and Federal Reserve Bank, contribute with personnel and resources.

The move to a physical center comes at a time when cyberattacks on US entities are increasing in scale and frequency. Just this year, a state of emergency was declared when a ransomware attack caused a halt in operations at a Colonial pipeline.

The month before that, Apple was hit with a ransomware demand of $50 million. Most recently, service provider Kaseya was targeted and hundreds of businesses were affected.

Ransomware—Threatening and Lucrative

While there are many different types of cyberattacks, from small-scale phishing operations to massive data breaches, they do differ in terms of motivation and goal.

With ransomware attacks, for example, hackers forcibly encrypt the victim’s data and demand a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. Some perpetrators even copy the data first for extra leverage.

Big data is crucial in the operation of many internet giants and government departments. This makes it valuable in its own right and a vulnerability for operators that rely on it.

Many people hope that the consolidation of the CCSI into a physical body, along with moves to start treating ransomware with the same severity as terrorism, will see the tide begin to turn.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.