Colin Ahern has been appointed as the state’s first-ever chief cyber officer.
A leading expert in cybersecurity, cyber resilience, and intelligence, Ahern will lead cross-agency efforts to protect New York state from increasingly prevalent and sophisticated cyber threats—working to ensure the security and cyber resilience of the State’s information assets and critical infrastructure and integrity of the state’s information assets.
“New York State is taking an aggressive, nation-leading approach to transforming our cybersecurity infrastructure to combat emerging threats and fortify our information assets,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “I am thrilled to appoint Colin Ahern as New York state’s first ever chief cyber officer. In an era of increasingly advanced cyber threats, Colin’s proven expertise and experience in the military, the private sector, and government will be critical to identifying cyber risks, enhancing our defense systems, preventing attacks, and ensuring that New Yorkers and our institutions remain protected.”
Ahern will oversee all cyber threat assessment, mitigation, and response efforts—working with executive management at every state agency to manage cyber risks and prevent attacks. Ahern will also lead the recently-announced Joint Security Operations Center—a nation-leading, first-of-its-kind hub for cyber threat detection and incident response. Formed by Governor Hochul in February, JSOC will be critical to cyber threat information sharing—effectively linking New York state, New York City, local and regional governments, critical infrastructure stakeholders, and federal partners.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve New Yorkers and work with Gov. Hochul and her team to continue to build and enhance our statewide cybersecurity infrastructure,” Ahern said. “This administration is committed to leading the nation on cybersecurity, and I am so excited to join the front lines of that effort.”