NYC unveils plan to become leader of cybersecurity innovation

Dive Brief:

  • The initiative will include: A Global Cyber Center co-working space in Chelsea; a Hub.NYC accelerator to develop cybersecurity companies; a Cyber Boot Camp to help workers find jobs in the sector; an initiative with local universities to help students earn a “CUNY-Facebook Master’s Degree” in cybersecurity; and a program in partnership with Columbia University’s Technology Ventures to commercialize university research.
  • “Cybersecurity has never been more important to the pillars of New York’s economy sectors like finance, healthcare, media, and technology and it will only grow more crucial,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer in a statement

Dive Insight:

Given that New York City is the hub of the world’s finance market — and is a leader in a variety of other economic drivers — cybersecurity is crucially important to the city. As NYCEDC CEO James Patchett told TechCrunch, “it’s a lose-lose if we fail to invest in the innovation that keeps the city strong,” since a cyberattack could cripple the city’s economic engine. 

There’s also money to be made in the industry. According to NYCEDC, New York saw more than $1 billion in cybersecurity-related venture capital in 2017 alone, and the industry already supports 6,000 employees. The focus on students ensures that the city will develop and keep talent. As part of the initiative, both PricewaterhouseCoopers and MasterCard have committed to hiring graduates to the various talent programs, and Facebook is sponsoring the master’s degree program.

This program also comes as cities are increasingly trying to get ready for the next cyberattack. With cities facing potentially crippling incidents — just last week, the Port of San Diego was hit by a ransomware attack, and Atlanta recently spent months recovering from a high-profile attack in March — training and investment is being stepped up all over the country. Houston, for example, ran a three-day simulation to stress test infrastructure against a possible attack, following a similar test in New York City. Leaders can expect more cities to make similar partnerships or investments to boost the growing industry and protect their valuable assets.

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