Our Democracy is Under Attack
Our democracy is under attack. 2016 election meddling is now a foregone conclusion, and there is mounting concern that the 2018 midterms could result in more cyber assaults on election systems than in 2016. Who’s at greatest risk: Election boards.
Two of the critical responsibilities for election boards and officials are to oversee voter registration, and to administrate elections, both of which carry highly sensitive information susceptible to breaches. In fact, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 requires election boards to maintain a centralized voter registration database, a perfect target for bad actors who would seek to exploit voter data.
Election Boards are a Target
A “60 Minutes” episode titled, ‘When Russian Hackers Targeted the U.S. Election Infrastructure,’ aired on April 8, 2018 validated that the main target of the 2016 U.S. election was election boards, and that up to 90,000 voter records were compromised. The reporting confirms how fragile the state of our democracy is: election meddling by foreign interests, database breaches of both political parties, and most recently a high-profile breach of trust.
In an attempt to alleviate this complicated issue there is newly proposed legislation, such as the Graham-Klobuchar Amendment, the Cyber Shield Act and the Paper Act, each of which are igniting a national dialogue around empowering private and public sector organizations to secure their digital resources and data as well as protect their employees, customers, and partners.
The security of sensitive data and credentials is top of mind not just for enterprises and government officials, but for the electorate at large regarding voter information, who has access to it, and how is it used.
The reality is government agencies have voiced concerns that they will not be able to secure and protect candidates, voter information, or the election itself.
America Needs to Secure the Vote in 2018
“It is incumbent upon us to protect our citizens’ information, which starts with voter registrations and election integrity. In order to secure the vote, Election Boards need to protect their election systems, and more importantly, sensitive voter registration information against bad actors. That starts with adopting a new mindset that compromised credentials are the main attack vector.