NY Senate to Convene Massive Cybersecurity Hearing in Rome

ROME - Six Senate committees will hold a joint hearing at noon Monday to hear testimony from experts in law enforcement, finance and computer science about the state’s preparedness against cyber-attacks.

“Cyber crime is a major economic issue, resulting in more than $500 million in losses last year alone,” said Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee and is hosting the event. “There’s a reason why England considers it an even greater threat than nuclear war. We need to take a closer look at what our state is doing to prevent cyberattacks that could affect our security, our economy and our government.”

The hearing, which is open to the public, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Monday at the Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive. It can also be watched live on the Internet at: http://www.livestream.com/nysenate4

Invited to give testimony and scheduled to appear are:

· Benjamin Lawsky, Department of Financial Services superintendent

· Jerome Hauer, Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services commissioner 

· Joseph D’Amico, State Police superintendent

 · A representative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity & Communications

Local experts include:

· Steve Chapin, associate professor at Syracuse University’s LC Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science

· Shiu-Kai Chin, co-director of Syracuse University’s Center for Information and Systems Assurance and Trust (CISAT)

· Raymond L. Philo, Utica College’s director of research operations

· A representative from Cyber NY Alliance, Rome

The full list of speakers will be announced at the event.

The six committees participating in the hearing are:

· Banking, chaired by Sen. Griffo, R-Rome

· Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs, chaired by Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson

· Insurance, chaired by Sen. James Seward, R-Oneonta

· Commerce, Economic Development & Small Business, chaired by Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida

· Crime Victims, Crime & Correction, chaired by Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma

· Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation & Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sen. Martin Golden, R-Brooklyn

Senator Greg Ball said: “In the new world we live in, everything from medical records to banking information is now digital. With the stroke of a key and very limited resources, those seeking to hurt the United States can do so in this new cyber age. What many citizens, including elected officials, do not realize is that our soft underbelly in cyber security leaves us wide open to attacks on a daily basis. This new digital age provides countless benefits, but also creates serious security risks and we must address this new reality as a state with a very clear eye. As the Chairman of Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, I am committed to staying on top of this technology shift and working together as a state to protect New Yorkers from cyber attacks.”

Senator James L. Seward said: “Insurance companies are the guardians of vital personal records and are tenacious about keeping the information private. As chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, I want to maintain that confidentiality while, at the same time, ensuring that the data is secure from cyber attacks. This is certainly an area where the private sector and state government can and should pool their intellectual expertise to provide the best safeguards possible.”

Senator David J. Valesky said: “As our world has transformed with the proliferation of technological advances, we must also change the way we protect ourselves from crime and attacks. Everyone, from individuals to corporations and governments, must be aware and diligent. I look forward to hearing from our experts about what we need to do to keep New Yorkers safe in the Digital Age.”

Senator Patrick Gallivan said: “The digital age in which we now live provides seemingly endless opportunities for innovation and advancement, but at the same time presents new and ever-evolving challenges for law enforcement at the local, state and national level. We are reminded every day in countless headlines from across the globe about the severity and sophistication of cyber-crime: personal financial and medical information, and even national security are all under constant attack from a new breed of criminal. In the past, law enforcement has often been played a game of catch-up with cyber-criminals, but today my Senate colleagues and I are taking the first step towards ensuring that New York State and its residents are secure and protected in the 21st century.”

Senator Martin Golden said: "As the Chairman of the committee on Science, Technology, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship I know all to well that both individuals and corporations are seeing an increased risk of having their identity and financial information stolen online. Thousands of people each year suffer from cyber attacks, which can take months to repair the damage caused. We need to ensure that personal information is kept protected and we must look at ways to ensure that cyber security in New York stays ahead of those who wish to cause harm."