New York City Wants To Own The Cybersecurity Market With New Initiative

With cybersecurity spending projected to reach $160 billion by 2020, New York City is aiming to capitalize by becoming home to yet another huge industry.

To meet that end the New York City Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the private sector created Cyber NYC, a $100 million, multi-year initiative to make New York City a leader in the cybersecurity industry.

Under the plan, the city will create a global cyber center that will serve as an innovation hub for startups. The idea is to support companies as they bring new solutions to market, promote research in the area and boost job creation in the cybersecurity market. The New York City Economic Development Corp. is positioning the initiative as part necessity and part opportunity.  After all, leading New York City industries including finance, healthcare, retail, and media are all targets of hackers and are huge consumers of cybersecurity products. That provides a need and an opportunity to bankroll homegrown innovation and talent. New York City is investing $30 million in the initiative. The remaining $70 million is coming from private funding.

As it stands cybersecurity attacks are occurring at an alarming rate. That has created a need for new cybersecurity products and professionals. NYCEDC said there will be around 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. It expects to fuel the growth of 10,000 good paying cybersecurity jobs over the next decade.

NYCEDC tapped Israel based SOSA to establish the center for this cybersecurity push via a 15,000 square foot state of the art hub located in Chelsea. It will bring together an international community of companies, investors, and startups to collaborate and innovate. The center will focus on hosting industry-specific events and programming and will create coworking spaces for startups as well as be home to a virtual testing ground so entrepreneurs can test out their ideas. Jerusalem Venture Partners, also out of Israel, was tapped to create the city’s first cybersecurity investment hub. The center will be located in SoHo and will support growth stage startups by providing access to clients, business support and investments. The idea is to grow those growth stage companies into major cybersecurity corporations based in New York City.

On the educational front, New York City is working with The City University of New York, New York University, Columbia, Cornell Tech, and iQ4 to train the next generation of cybersecurity specialists via new certifications and degree programs for New Yorkers. Degree-seeking students will also be able to access a new one-year CUNY Master’s program in collaboration with Facebook.  “Cybersecurity has never been more important to the pillars of New York’s economy – sectors like finance, healthcare, media, and technology – and it will only grow more crucial,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer in announcing the initiative this fall. “You only have to open a newspaper to see how vast the need for cybersecurity is today. Investing in this industry is timely, it plays to New York’s strengths, and it will deliver a real return.”