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Maintaining vigilance against election hackers

Matthew V. Masterso (Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission) says -

The future of U.S. democracy and voter confidence depends on readiness.

We couldn't agree more with the steps he highlights in this article to prepare voting systems for cybersecurity against election hacking. Excerpts are below, click here to read the full article from the Washington Times.

  • Secure your data: Election officials should consistently review their data security policies with an eye toward implementing proper protection and detection techniques. This should include assessing access control policies, intrusion detection and monitoring settings, procedures for regular offline backups of all databases, as well as a review of firewall settings and encryption levels.

  • Develop or update cyber incident response and recovery plans: Most election offices have robust and mature contingency plans to ensure the continued operation of an election in the case of natural disaster or man-made incidents. Officials should not only ensure that their contingency plans include guidelines for cyber incidents, but they should consistently update these plans to reflect new threats or technological advancements.

  • Conduct a full review and audit of systems, data, processes and procedures: After every election, most state and local election offices conduct a full after-action review of the prior election. The purpose of this review is to debrief on how the process worked, identify areas of improvement and begin to prepare for the next election. In essence, every election is an opportunity to learn and improve.

  • Take advantage of all available resources: Election offices are notoriously understaffed and underresourced. As they adapt to the new threat environment, officials should take advantage of all available resources.

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