Cyber security has been a big business in the Mohawk Valley. Now some of that hard work could pay off. The Senate plans to hold a joint committee hearing on cyber security in Rome next month. YNN's Andrew Sorensen explains why the hearing is needed, and why it's coming to Central New York.
ROME, N.Y. --They've hit banks, governments, and they're trying to take down anything connected to a computer.
"It's been said that this is more significant than nuclear at this time," said Griffiss Institute Director Bill Wolf.
But at the Griffiss Institute, a cyber research advocacy group, Wolf says drawing attention to cyber attacks, is a battle on its own.
The institute has pushed for more research funding for a long time.
"We've been ignoring the threat for a long time. We're working around the threat, we're really not addressing it," he said.
The trouble is that these attacks could come from anyone, just about anywhere, on just about any computer.
"It doesn't take a nation state, it doesn't take a team of individuals. A single individual with a laptop becomes a threat," said Wolf.
Experts say the technology is a cat and mouse game, with bad guys always squeaking up in new places.
Luckily there are people working on it, many of them around Rome and the Mohawk Valley.
"There's probably 15 to 20 businesses that are actually working cyber issues. The hub really is the Air Force Research Laboratory," said Wolf.
But now the push to get more attention and funding could be seeing some success.
"Five standing committees of the New York State Senate, and one select committee of the New York State Senate will be conducting a joint public hearing on Cyber Security," said Senator Joe Griffo.
Griffo helped set up the hearing. He hopes to shed light on both the issues and the homegrown business surrounding cyber security.
"By engaging in activities and procedures and operations where we can grow jobs and participate in a way that is helpful to our community," he said.
Griffo says he hopes to announce who will testify at the hearing within a couple of weeks.
The hearing is scheduled for November 18th at the Griffiss Institute at noon. It will be open to the public, but comment is limited by invitation only.