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Cybersecurity & Standards

BSides 2018 Presentation – Engaging Policymakers at the State Level, Election Cybersecurity

Maurice Turner, Senior Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, presented this at the 2018 BSides Las Vegas Conference on Wednesday, August 8th, with David Forscey, a policy analyst with the National Governors Association.

The presentation, titled Engaging Policymakers at the State Level, explored how and why communities can benefit from adopting cybersecurity practices through the example of the electoral process. This summer’s headlines have been inundated with reports of phishing campaigns, data breaches, and malware attacks. Last year, DEFCON’s Voting Village exposed vulnerabilities in voting systems across the country. There is no better time to discuss election security, and to bring policymakers and infosec professionals into partnership.

While local and state officials are working towards stronger electoral processes, technical expertise is often limited. Turner and Forscey’s presentation encourages infosec professionals to combine forces with government leaders to take on security challenges at the community-level. In going through the history of voting and evolution of election technology, the conversation will identify areas for improvement, consider potential points of collaboration, and discuss methods of impacting policy. In the role of a technical volunteer, those with security know-how can contribute to a more secure Election Day and a more resilient democracy.

For other field guides, more resources, and info on what CDT is doing to help election officials, check out our Election Security campaign.