Senator Gonzalez’s Bill Improving Cybersecurity Preparedness Passes Internet and Technology Committee

NEW YORK - Today, S6474 sponsored by Committee Chair Kristen Gonzalez (SD 59-D/WFP), passed the Senate Internet and Technology Committee. This legislation bolsters cybersecurity in New York by requiring governmental entities to use multifactor authentication (MFA) for local and remote access to networks. The bill also requires public websites to encrypt all exchanges and comply with privacy standards.

Senator Kristen Gonzalez said, "Cyber attacks are on the rise, and state entities are an increasingly frequent target. New Yorkers should never have to fear that the state government will lose access to its systems because of an attack. Multifactor Authentication is a cost effective way to improve our cybersecurity preparedness; it is 99.9% more unlikely for an account to be compromised when MFA is used. We know that attacks aren’t going away; increasing our preparedness by using MFA is one of the best ways we can protect our state government.”

Since 2017, more than 3,600 local and state governments across the country have been targeted by ransomware attacks. In New York, hundreds of attacks are attempted each year on state entities. 

In 2022, a cyber attack plunged the Suffolk county government offline for weeks. The attack forced officials to disable email access for 10,000 civil service workers. Attacks like this one show that local governments need to do more to bolster their cybersecurity preparedness.