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Elections and Cybersecurity [Weekly Cybersecurity Brief]

Today is election day! With the anticipated midterm elections here, people are hitting the polls to determine who will take the seats that are up for grabs. But in today’s day in age, elections don’t just come with the nervous energy of who will win or lose. They also come with cybersecurity concerns, and the buildup to today’s elections was no different.

As Politico reported, National Guard cybersecurity experts have been brought in to help with midterm elections in 14 states. This follows similar assistance that they provided during the primary elections earlier in the year. As a part of this effort, the officials will work with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to mitigate any risks, which has become a heightened concern since Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

In addition to bringing in sources for help, some states have also been on a mission to strengthen cybersecurity for their websites. Considering these websites are used to share pertinent information such as voting results, this effort is more of a preventative measure since a cyberattack can so easily take down such a platform. For example, Hawaii.gov was impacted last month by a cyberattack leaving it inaccessible for hours. However, cybersecurity leaders in four states assured that there is no real threat detected when discussing the subject with NBC News.

While cybersecurity is important to remain vigilant over, federal, state and local officials have also been on a mission around the midterms to remind voters that there are thorough systems in place to protect elections. Through media interviews and PSAs, they have been reminding the public that routine cybersecurity practices and audits do work unlike some disinformation campaigns have eluded. As Axios shared, the FBI and the CISA put out a PSA on Oct. 4th stating that a cyber incident is “unlikely to disrupt or prevent voting,” and CISA Director Jen Easterly stated that “at this time, we are not aware of any specific or credible threats to compromise or disrupt election infrastructure.”

Key Takeaways:

“National Guard to offer midterm elections cybersecurity help” – Maggie Miller, Politico

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/11/04/nationa-guard-midterm-election-cybersecurity-00065236

  • National Guard cybersecurity experts have been brought in to help with midterm elections in 14 states.
  • This follows similar assistance that they provided during the primary elections earlier in the year.
  • As a part of this effort, the officials will work with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to mitigate any risks.

“After a series of cyberattacks, states look to secure election results websites” –  Kevin Collier, NBC News

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/states-look-secure-election-results-websites-ahead-midterms-rcna50441

  • Some states have also been on a mission to strengthen cybersecurity for their websites.
  • Considering these websites are used to share pertinent information such as voting results, this effort is more of a preventative measure since a cyberattack can so easily take down such a platform.
  • However, cybersecurity leaders in four states assured that there is no real threat detected when discussing the subject with NBC News.

“U.S. officials eye a complex web of election cybersecurity threats” – Sam Sabin, Axios

https://www.axios.com/2022/10/25/election-cybersecurity-midterm-threats

  • Federal, state and local officials have also been on a mission around the midterms to remind voters that there are thorough systems in place to protect elections.
  • Through media interviews and PSAs, they have been assuring the public that routine cybersecurity practices and audits do work unlike some disinformation has eluded.
  • The FBI and the CISA put out a PSA on Oct. 4th stating that a cyber incident is “unlikely to disrupt or prevent voting,”
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