Sen. Phillips co-hosts state Senate hearing on cyber security

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Sen. Elaine Phillips

State Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Manhasset) co-hosted today’s New York State Investigations and Government Operations Committee public hearing, which sought insight from stakeholders on steps New York can take to strengthen cyber-security capabilities to ensure personal data is properly protected from cyber-attacks.

Phillips is a member of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee and said she has made protecting her constituents, and all New Yorkers, from cyber-attacks a top priority.

“Cyber-terrorism continues to be one of the most serious threats to both our national security and personal privacy,” Phillips said. “With the world shifting into a digital era, nearly everything we do is connected to the internet and our computers: banking, communication, shopping, transportation, and even our medical records. Incidents like the recent Equifax breach only reinforce the vital importance of cyber security and the need for consumers to be better educated and more responsible for protecting their personal information.”

Several proposals were discussed during the hearing, including making low interest loans available for businesses to upgrade their cyber security systems, preference in state contracts for companies that meet state goals in cyber security defense, and budgetary awards for municipalities that conform to state cyber protection requirements.

“Roughly 85 percent of our nation’s critical infrastructure is owned or managed by private companies and other states have explored public-private partnerships, bringing government and the private sector together to protect our citizens’ privacy and our state’s security,” Phillips said. “Innovative approaches such as this need to be explored as we work to find new ways to protect New York resident’s personal and private information from hackers.”

Testimony was given by academic experts in the field of cyber security, and representatives from the private cyber security sector, including Consumer Data Industry Association, Global Cyber Alliance, and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

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