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Long Island’s Rep. Garbarino Explores Beefing Up Cybersecurity

Internet Broadband cable
Jorge Guillen

U.S. Representative Andrew Garbarino of New York, a Republican, wants Long Island businesses and local governments to boost their defenses against cybersecurity threats.

Garbarino is working with the Department of Homeland Security to find ways to defend against hackers and avoid expensive ransomware attacks. He’s the ranking member on the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation.

“There's a lot of different things to be concerned about. But the big one for a lot of businesses, and a lot of school districts and municipalities, is ransomware. And having to pay ransom,” Garbarino said.

Federal security officials said hackers look for the weakest targets. They said basic steps to improve security include using complex passwords online and keeping computer operating systems up to date.

In 2019, some Long Island school districts and local governments were hit with ransomware. Rockville Centre schools paid almost $100,000 to get their data back from the hackers.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.