In the wake of recent cyberattacks, cities and states are taking a stand.
On March 29, New York City (the City) Mayor Bill de Blasio announced NYC Secure, an initiative that will include a suspicious activity alert app for residents and security upgrades to the City's public Wi-Fi networks.1The initiative is intended as a citywide effort to better protect citizens and mitigate systemic-level cyber threats to citizens or City infrastructure, not unlike the ransomware attack suffered by the City of Atlanta last month, which included the disabling of public Wi-Fi.2
If properly implemented, the progressive NYC Secure initiative could be a first step toward setting the standard for similar city-provided services nationwide. City officials aptly compared the initiative to previous efforts to make the streets of New York City safe, and noted the importance of "bringing that same commitment to protecting New Yorkers into cyberspace."4 As more and more daily activities of residents and visitors are conducted online (particularly through mobile devices and on public networks susceptible to a variety of external cyber threats), increased attention should be paid to state and local-level protections.
This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.