- During a webinar hosted by Route Fifty, Manhattan, NY District Attorney Cyrus Vance explained why preventing cyber crime is just as important as investigating its effects, and how cities must establish partnerships both inside and outside their borders to enhance protection.
- Vance detailed his office's work with the City of London Police to help create the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), which helps cities stop cyber threats and encourages collaboration between the public and private sectors.
- "We come at this with a law enforcement emphasis but not as law enforcement agencies trying to build investigations against criminals," Vance said. "We are trying to build greater safety by pushing out cyber strategies and tools."
One of Vance’s more startling statements during the webinar was that New York City did not have the partnerships in place between government and business to help deal with and recover from a cyberattack until relatively recently. Mayor Bill de Blasio established the New York City Cyber Command last year to lead the city government’s response, and it created a dedicated cyber hub for research and development of new technology. That came with memories of the Atlanta cyberattack still fresh, something Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the city was surprised by.
Vance said if a cyberattack occurred, there was no way for city departments and businesses to cooperate. GCA convened a critical infrastructure group with 17 members, including government bodies, organizations like hospitals and companies like Verizon. There is now a group to respond and help each other, so "when the hospitals are attacked in the future, Verizon will be there, part of the team of volunteers, to help them get back on their feet after the attack," Vance said.
And while city agencies must partner internally with businesses to fight cyber crime, Vance said it has also become imperative for cities to cooperate, including across international borders, as many of the same criminals try to commit similar crimes in different places. With two major financial centers such as New York City and London working together against crimes like securities fraud, Vance said cities are moving "toward a realization that we are all at risk, therefore we all have to be partners and we all have to take care of our neighbors just as we take care of ourselves."