- As part of a wide-ranging cybersecurity initiative, the New York City Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer and other partners announced 17 finalists for the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge.
- Seven finalists will get $10,000 from the city to test their proposals in partnership with local small businesses or international partners. The finalists include a project from American company Inky to block phishing attacks; a project from TwoSense AI to authenticate users by physical behavior; and a software product from U.K. company Think Cyber that uses behavioral and learning science theory to offer guidance to customers.
- Another 10 finalists will compete for a more than $1 million investment from Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and entry into the firm's cybersecurity accelerator cohort. Finalists are from Israel, Germany, India, France, South Korea, Argentina and the United States.
With cities facing increasing cyber challenges — including high-profile attacks on cities including Baltimore, Atlanta and Naples, FL — cybersecurity has become both a booming industry and a necessity.
Last October, the New York City Economic Development corporation announced plans for a $100 million public-private program to foster the cybersecurity industry with the goal of creating 10,000 cybersecurity jobs. The investments included the creation of a Global Cyber Center co-working space in Chelsea and a Hub.NYC accelerator to develop new startups. A large focus is also on education, including a Cyber Boot Camp training program and the creation of a degree program at CUNY in partnership with Facebook.
The Moonshot Challenge, announced in November, was designed to let global companies pitch their projects, and attracted 169 proposals from 77 cities across the world. Following similar moonshot challenges around climate change and broadband connectivity, this challenge seeks to elevate startup projects that will have a direct impact on the city and industry.
"As the frequency and sophistication of cyber threats continues to grow, it's more important than ever that we’re investing in the innovation of cyber security solutions, and that we're focusing on the education and training of the next generation of cyber defenders," Geoff Brown, head of New York City Cyber Command, said in a statement.
Several of the finalists will help address the kind of phishing and ransomware attacks that have plagued cities. The Inky project would help weed out suspicious emails, and another from U.S. startup Atakama would protect files by linking them to multiple devices, which could protect valuable data in the event of an attack. And Israeli company NeuraLegion would use machine learning to create a vulnerability detection network that would look for vulnerabilities.