A cyber security professional conducting secure view testing on a computer.

State of Security: How New York State is Protecting People in an Increasingly Connected World

Cybersecurity has become a priority for many companies, government entities and consumers—and for good reason. In a hyper-connected world where computers, mobile devices, wearables, vehicles and even household appliances are connected to the internet, there are more ways than ever for private information to fall into the wrong hands. And with data breaches grabbing headlines on a regular basis, anyone who conducts online transactions should be aware of the risks around the safety and privacy of their information.

Those issues have fueled a growing industry in New York State, now ranked the #3 U.S. market for cybersecurity jobs, with New York City in second place, according to LinkedIn data. And 26 of the top 500 cybersecurity companies in the world are located in New York State.

New York’s leadership in cybersecurity, reflected in Governor Cuomo’s ongoing   initiatives to establish secure systems and practices, is also highlighted in this month’s 21st Annual New York State Cyber Security Conference and 13th Annual Symposium on Information Assurance (ASIA), set for June 5-6 in Albany.

Attendees from across public and private sector businesses, agencies and organizations will gather for sessions and workshops aimed at increasing cybersecurity awareness while minimizing risk, with topics including: supply chain strategies; fintech security; managing artificial intelligence and machine learning; legal and social media issues; defense tactics; the security evolution; and case studies of high-profile security breaches.    

Cybersecurity-related research programs are offered across State University of New York campuses – including Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook—supporting the industry’s talent pipeline. The University at Albany is home to the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity.

Reg Harnish, CEO of GreyCastle Security in Troy, was a keynote speaker at last year’s NYS Cyber Security Conference, where he talked about the “asymmetric cyber warfare” being waged on the relatively new playing field of cybersecurity and how successes can inform future strategy. GreyCastle, a subsidiary of Assured Information Security (AIS) with roots in New York State, also hosts an annual cybersecurity conference – the sixth is slated for September in Albany – and delivers a number of cybersecurity services and solutions.

AIS got its start in 2001 as a software company that focused on Air Force and Department of Defense cyber tech-related research, operating from the Rome-based Air Force Research Laboratory. Earlier this year, the firm announced  a nearly $48 million Air Force contract to provide cybersecurity for high-priority, emerging or existing telecommunications systems, works across industry, business and the government, offering clients through a defense strategy that combines education and technology.

“While most are generally aware that their business is subject to compromise, they often don’t understand how a compromise could occur or its impact on the business,” says Dan Kalil, a vice president at AIS and chief strategy officer at GreyCastle. “We help our customers better understand the vulnerabilities they face, as well as eliminate those vulnerabilities.” The firm’s tech tools include SecureView, a virtual cybersecurity platform that allows users to access multiple classified networks and security networks from a single workstation and a “WiFi Investigator” that supports wireless security applications for military, law enforcement and intelligence operations, among others.

But education and awareness, a goal of this month’s New York State conference, involves as much of a defense as technology. “Human beings and their behavior are at the root of all cybersecurity risks,” notes Harnish, who studied computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Click here to find out more about the New York State Cyber Security Conference and about how New York State is working to reduce those risks.