Westchester forms task force to fight off cyberattacks
Russia's attack on Ukraine is creating heightened security in the Hudson Valley with a big focus on cybersecurity.
Considering Russia has already launched cyberattacks to weaken Ukraine's defense systems, state and local leaders want to be prepared.
On Wednesday, Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed an executive order forming a local Cybersecurity Task Force to address possible upcoming threats as well as future hacking, phishing and ransomware attacks.
This came a day after Gov. Kathy Hochul launched the state’s first ever Joint Security Operations Center.
The task force is expected to be made up of people with business and technology experience. The plan is for the group to review the county's cybersecurity policies and propose improvements.
They will also work with the county's Information Technology Department.
"Technology changes so fast that it represents a constant effort to stay current," says Latimer.
Local governments have become increasingly more vulnerable to cybercrime in the last decade. Several Westchester municipalities have dealt with serious cyberattacks in recent years, including Yonkers, Yorktown, the Croton-on-Hudson school systems and the Village of Rye Brook.
A cyberattack on Westchester could impact the county's water systems, schools and health care facilities.