Representative Katko and Senior Homeland Security Officials Host Roundtable to Provide Cybersecurity Resources to Leaders in Local Government, Education, Health and Business

SYRACUSE, NY— At Onondaga Community College, US Representative John Katko (NY-24)a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee today hosted a panel discussion with Nitin Natarajan, deputy director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the Department of Homeland Security, and regional officials from the ‘agency. The discussion provided an opportunity for CISA representatives to provide support and answer questions from local organizations, education, healthcare and small businesses for managing cybersecurity threats.

“Here in central New York, we have seen the impact of the recent increase in cybercrime. In 2019, attacks on the Syracuse City School District and Onondaga County Public Library System shut down their systems and significantly disrupted operations, ” said Representative Katko. “Earlier this year, I took over as a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee and sought to work with CISA to improve our cybersecurity capabilities and prevent cyber attacks. It has been the continuation of my life’s work to keep our community safe.

He continued, “Today, I was happy to welcome Deputy Director Natarajan from CISA to central New York for this conversation and provide local government, education, health and small business officials with the resources needed to manage cybersecurity threats. The purpose of this discussion was to encourage the adoption of best cybersecurity practices and prevent a future major cyber incident from happening in central New York City.

Federal support to public and private entities includes:

  • CISA offers several free cybersecurity training and webinars to support state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and K-12 institutions.
  • CISA offers several programs, technical assistance, tools, exercises and awareness efforts to raise the level of understanding of risks and mitigation strategies for owners and operators of critical infrastructure.
  • CISA offers several cyberhygiene services to proactively and free of charge the defense of organizations. This includes vulnerability scanning, phishing campaign assessment, web application scanning, and remote penetration testing.
  • CISA recently launched the “Reduce the Risk of Ransomware” campaign to raise awareness about how to combat the evolving threat. CISA’s campaign aims to encourage organizations to implement core cybersecurity best practices and leverage CISA tools and resources to help reduce cyber risk.

This roundtable was particularly timely after a holiday weekend where a Russian-based ransomware criminal group called REvil compromised a US-based IT service provider Kaseya as a force multiplier to infect users. Kaseya customers with ransomware. It has been described as a supply chain ransomware attack and is just the latest example of ransomware affecting critical industries and sectors in the United States. Representative Katko proposed a seven pins response plan to gain the upper hand over the ransomware pandemic once and for all.

As a Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee and previously a Ranking Member of the Cyber ​​Security, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Subcommittee, Representative Katko has played a leading role at the Congress in efforts to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity. In central New York State, Representative Katko also worked to disseminate essential advice by holding local roundtables to connect local election officials with CISA and help municipalities strengthen their protections. in cybersecurity.


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