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Buffalo’s New Cybersecurity Program Protects for Free

The city has partnered with CrowdStrike as part of a New York state-created shared services program that will use $30 million to boost local government cyber defenses. The program will save Buffalo $75,000 a year.

(TNS) — The City of Buffalo, N.Y., is turning to a new cybersecurity platform to protect it against ransomware attacks and digital viruses. And it won't cost the city a thing.

Buffalo will be partnering with CrowdStrike as part of a shared services program created by Gov. Kathy Hochul, the New York State Office of Information Technology Services and the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The Joint Security Operations Center was launched earlier this year to serve as the center for a collaborative response to local, state and federal cybersecurity efforts, and $30 million was put toward assisting municipalities across the state with cybersecurity technology. Buffalo is the first beneficiary of that funding.

As part of the shared services program, New York's counties and the state's initial JSOC partners will be offered CrowdStrike endpoint detection and response services at no cost. That will save the city $75,000 per year.

"In this digitized world, we have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our residents and the partners we interact with from viruses and ransomware," Mayor Byron Brown said. " Buffalo is proud to be the first municipality to implement CrowdStrike."

Brown, along with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and cyber leaders across the state, are part of the cyber command center that will provide a statewide view of the cyber-threat landscape, according to a news release. The program is also intended to improve coordination on threat intelligence and incident response.

It will not, however, cover cybersecurity efforts for Buffalo Public Schools, which, in 2021, was the latest victim in a growing number of cyberattacks targeting school districts across the U.S. That ransomware attack forced the district to cancel classes for a few days until employees could restore key systems and equipment, but the district reportedly did not pay the ransom.

A spokesperson for the city said the new program only includes municipalities and not school districts, at this time.

(c)2022 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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