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New York launches cybersecurity challenge to protect small businesses

The ‘moonshot’ challenge aims to foster the creation of cybersecurity solutions to protect New York City’s small businesses.

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The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Cyber Command (C3) and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have launched the Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge, calling on industry experts to develop and deliver new, affordable and scalable solutions to protect New York’s small and mid-size business from cyber-attacks.

 

The Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge is a component of NYCEDC’s Cyber NYC initiative, a $100 million public-private investment aimed at transforming New York City into a global leader of cybersecurity innovation and talent.

 

The NYCx Moonshot challenges invite global problem-solvers to partner with the City of New York to develop and test novel solutions that can address pressing urban problems.

 

“Cybersecurity is one of our world’s greatest threats, and we need to be ambitious about protecting ourselves. That’s why we’re making New York City a hotbed for cyber innovation, to protect every New Yorker and every business." (NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett.)

 

For the Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge, four to eight finalists will receive an award of up to $20,000 to test their proposal in New York City, as well as support to roll the solution out in international markets. JVP has also committed over $1 million in investment to be awarded to selected proposals.

 

One of the world’s greatest threats

 

The City has established a consortium of international partners to launch the challenge, including Israeli venture capital firm, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). The partners will work with the City to solicit and evaluate cybersecurity proposals from companies and start-ups.

 

“Cybersecurity is one of our world’s greatest threats, and we need to be ambitious about protecting ourselves. That’s why we’re making New York City a hotbed for cyber innovation, to protect every New Yorker and every business – all while creating good-paying jobs,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “We are proud to help launch this important challenge, which will benefit New York City and create game-changing technology for the world to share.”

 

Samir Saini, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, added: “The reality is that bad actors don’t discriminate in who they target, and small businesses need to be prepared to defend themselves. That’s where this NYCx challenge comes in.”

 

Civic tech challenges

 

In September, New York City’s chief technology officer released a how-to guide for creating civic tech challenges. The move follows the success of two previous ‘moonshot challenges’ which focused on connectivity and climate action.

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