New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released the New York State Cybersecurity Grant Plan, which details a whole-of-state approach to reduce cyber risk and build cyber resiliency in local governments statewide.

The program will use nearly $6 million in funding from the Federal State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program. The New York State Cybersecurity Grant Plan will expand access to cybersecurity information, tools, resources, and services so that public sector entities in New York have access to the most sophisticated cyber defenses.

The governor’s office said the state government will use its economy of scale purchasing power to directly procure and deliver best-in-brand software, hardware, and services to eligible entities.

“A cyberattack can halt an entire community, and it’s essential that local governments have the resources and information needed to protect themselves and quickly respond to a cyber threat,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding will provide tools to help municipalities secure critical infrastructure to protect New Yorkers and reduce cyber risks.”

During the program’s first year, New York State said it is focusing on shared services initiatives to help local government entities build a baseline level of cybersecurity. These initiatives are:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): New York will provide hardware and/or software tokens and professional services that eligible entities can use to implement MFA in their technology environments.
  • Cybersecurity Certification Scholarship: New York will provide scholarships for select employees from eligible entities who currently have roles or responsibilities related to information technology, information security, cybersecurity, data privacy, and/or data security to achieve an industry-recognized cybersecurity certification.
  • Cybersecurity Awareness Training: New York will provide online cybersecurity awareness training for eligible entities for their employees.

“The threat posed by cyber-attacks continues to grow each year, making it critical we ensure our local partners have access to the cyber security services necessary to keep data and critical infrastructure safe,” New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said. “By utilizing a shared service model, we are making it easier for local governments to obtain key products that are essential in helping keep our communities safe from cyber criminals.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs