New York state officials are assessing cybersecurity vulnerabilities and infrastructure amid "geopolitical uncertainty," Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday evening said, a move that includes speaking with cabinet officials about preparedness efforts.
The discussions come as President Joe Biden has warned an invasion of Ukraine by Russia could occur in the coming days. U.S. sanctions in the wake of such a move could lead to counterefforts, such as cyberattacks by Russia or Russian-backed assets.
New York, which has finance, health care, energy and transportation entities headquartered in the state, could be affected by those actions, Hochul said.
"It is my top priority to keep New Yorkers safe, and we will remain vigilant by continuing to monitor for threats and ramping up our cybersecurity shields as necessary," she said. "New Yorkers should also remember they are vulnerable to cyberattacks on their personal devices, and I encourage them to use best practices around passwords and multi-factor authentication, and to make sure that older loved ones are protected from scams."
Hochul has proposed in her $216 billion budget plan $62 million in cybersecurity provisions, which would double the amount of spending on the issue over last year if given final approval.
More narrowly, local governments, school districts and businesses have been vulnerable to cyberattacks that include hacking of systems and freezing them or holding information for ransom in exchange for money.
"Cabinet leaders will continue reviewing their cyber-risk management readiness and communicate with relevant industry and government partners to ensure threat intelligence is being relayed as quickly as possible," Hochul said.