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NYC City Council Member Proposes Dedicated Cyber Agency

The Office of Cyber Command would be tasked with setting cybersecurity and practices for New York City agencies, providing security guidance, and directing response to any cyberattacks or other digital threats.

(TNS) — A city councilman wants to create a permanent Office of Cyber Command to keep New York City safe from hackers.

"If 6 inches of snow can bring the city to a grinding halt, can you imagine the damage that a cyberattack can cause?" Councilman Ritchie Torres asked.

He's introducing legislation this week to create the Office of Cyber Command — which would codify into law an initiative of the same name that Mayor de Blasio has started.

"It's the most exciting name in city government," Torres (D-Bronx) quipped.

The office would be tasked with setting up cybersecurity policies and standards for city agencies, providing cybersecurity guidance to the mayor and city agencies, making sure the city is complying with those policies and directing responses to cyberattacks and threats.

"I think as a city becomes more technologically advanced we become more vulnerable to the cyberthreats, and the city's critical infrastructure from housing to public health, water supply (and) utilities, is computerized," he said.

Torres said he believed a cyberattack is the "single greatest vulnerability" facing the city.

"It's often said New York City is the No. 1 terror target in the world — that statement is as true in cyberspace as it is in physical space," he said.

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