Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined NYC Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller and NYC Comptroller Brad Lander at a press conference where the officials provided guidance to New Yorkers on how to protect themselves from potential Russian cyber attacks. The officials outlined the 3 ‘S’es of Cyber Safety, which will help New Yorkers protect themselves during this time of increased threat. Please visit Senator Gillibrand’s website for additional resources on cybersecurity.
Given New York’s role as the economic engine and financial center of the United States, New Yorkers face an increased risk of cyber attacks from Russia, which officials have warned may seek to retaliate for the crushing sanctions imposed on it by the U.S. and its allies.
“Following the sanctions that the U.S. and our allies have levied on Russia, there is an increased risk that Russia will carry out retaliatory cyber attacks, particularly against New York State infrastructure and individuals,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We must act quickly to strengthen our cyber defenses to counter any unwarranted Russian aggression. I urge New York residents to practice proper cyber safety: secure your accounts, update software and stay vigilant. That is the best way to defend against cyber attacks.”
“In our investigations we learn the same lesson over and over,” said Deputy Commissioner John Miller. “More than what you use for virus protection, more than who you use as your internet provider, what you do to protect yourself with good internet hygiene and practices will make the real difference in the security of your system at home or at work.”
“New Yorkers stand with Ukrainians fleeing from Russia’s invasion and New York’s vibrant Ukrainian population,” said Comptroller Brad Lander. “In the 21st century, so much of our daily lives and critical infrastructure are connected to technology and we need to be prepared for online threats to our financial and public safety. New York must take action now individually and collectively to guard against cyberattacks that seek to gain access to our financial and personal information and shore up our public infrastructure against disruptive attacks.”
“As the U.S. capital of finance, media, and culture, New York City requires a unified, comprehensive defense against constant cyber threats to critical infrastructure and essential services,” said Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. “This was true before this period of heightened sensitivity and it’s especially true now. In this historic hour of peril and uncertainty, I am proud to partner with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a staunch advocate for public and private cyber defense on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. I look forward to working with Senator Gillibrand closely in the future to protect New Yorkers from the destabilizing impacts of cyberattacks.”
The 3 ‘S’es of Cyber Safety are:
1. SECURE YOUR ACCOUNTS
- Use a strong password. (“password” is not a strong password.)
- Use a different password for each account.
- Turn on two-factor authentication. This security feature requires you to enter a login code sent by text message or generated by an app. So even if hackers steal your password, they won’t be able to log in without that code!
- Don’t forget social media! Protecting your banking, retirement, investment, and work accounts is important, but don’t forget to protect your social media accounts too! Hacked accounts are used to send spam, scam your friends and family, and spread disinformation for foreign governments.
2. SOFTWARE UPDATES
- Update your devices ASAP
- Accept updates for your devices, software, and apps as soon as they are available to make sure you have the latest security updates installed.
3. STAY VIGILANT
- Be vigilant, be suspicious
- Most cyber attackers don’t hack into your accounts — they try to trick you into letting them in. Be suspicious of emails and DMs like those that ask you to click links, promise free stuff, or make urgent demands or threats.
Gillibrand has been at the forefront of pushing for more cybersecurity resources. Last week, Gillibrand and Majority Leader Schumer called for the Fiscal Year 2022 funding package to include a significant increase in cybersecurity funding for the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) program, which is located in Rensselaer County and is a partnership-based approach to building cybersecurity resilience and coordination between federal, state and local entities.