NEW YORK (PIX11) — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced New York’s first-ever statewide cybersecurity strategy aimed at protecting the state’s digital infrastructure from cyberattacks.

The plan will commit millions of dollars to modernize the state’s computer networks and create digital defenses against cyberattacks.

The threat of cyberattacks is real, with 57 incidents happening in 2022 alone. The most serious was a month-long shutdown of Suffolk County’s municipal system by a ransomware attack. 

Imagine New York’s transit system being crippled by a cyberattack. It happened on a limited scale last year. Ransomware impacted MTA payroll operations for months. The fear is that next time it could shut down the city.

Upgrading state computer networks and sharing security information with county and federal agencies are also part of the plan. Additionally, New York will name a chief cyber officer and create a workforce to tackle cyber threats.

In the last 18 months, 60 recent graduates have been employed in a partnership with New York University.

New York’s budget for next year will earmark an additional $35 million for cybersecurity, bringing the total close to $100 million.