Protecting Elections and Enterprises with Innovative Security

Greg Reeder |  October 2020

It shouldn’t be a surprise that elections will always be high profile targets for the worst kinds of threats and threat actors.

Experts know that any election could be attacked, either directly through traditional cybersecurity channels or indirectly through disinformation campaigns, which puts defenders on alert.

Armed with that knowledge, election officials can be ready to counter all threats with a combination of good cybersecurity practices, information sharing with other jurisdictions, and by forming good partnerships with security and IT firms from the private sector that can provide valuable expertise and support.

In a recent panel, we explored the national response to digital threats surrounding elections and discussed securing election infrastructure in terms of voter registration databases, voting systems, and IT systems.

Below are the top five election security concerns and considerations from the experts:

  1. Fake news comes in many flavors. Just because it’s online or on television doesn’t make it true. With the largest number of absentee ballots expected and new behavior necessary at polling places (standing 6-feet apart, mandatory masks, and other safety measures), the upcoming general election will create real opportunities for misinformation and disinformation, which will pose as a real challenge for federal, state and local government officials.
  2. Watch out for some common threats. The most common threats to be prepared for in this upcoming election will be:
    • The spreading of misinformation in terms of how to vote.
    • An undercutting of confidence in the election results.
    • Intervention in the election by a foreign government or anyone else looking to profit.
    • Compromised endpoints being breached and attacked.
  1. Election officials need to work extra hard to build trust and security.
    One of the most important aspects of building trust in the election depends on how the public feels about the results. In this way, transparency across all 8,800 local election officials will be key, including ensure voting machines and voter data are protected from threat actors.
  2. Get prepared and educated on battling disinformation.
    Disinformation campaigns are extremely dangerous for elections, but the best way to combat them are with preventative measures such as, continuous internal training (firewall, phishing, security best practices, etc.), ensuring your agency has access to the latest in software and tools, and continuing to educate on major concerns (for example, just because website is hacked it doesn’t mean results are affected).

For more information on the latest advancements and perspectives related to security, cloud, and innovations, join us for our NS2 Now Digital Summit on October 29, 2020

Greg Reeder

Greg Reeder

Vice President, Marketing, SAP NS2

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