#RSAC: Election Protection is CISA’s Top Priority for Next 18 Months

Nation-state-backed cybercriminals are notorious for rigging elections and attempting to influence or disrupt the democratic process. For CISA, protecting the upcoming 2024 elections is now a top priority in an effort to protect democracy.

“This is our top priority over the next year and a half,” said Eric Goldstein, CISA’s deputy executive director for cybersecurity. “We have cybersecurity advisors across the country who meet every day with secretaries of state and state and local election officials to make sure they’re getting the right assessment information services to meet their needs.”

CISA also has a centralized support team working to ensure the agency is focused on developing appropriate information and guidance on election cybersecurity.

“As we collectively identify threat activity that could target elections or state and local election organizations, we will make sure we share that information immediately and provide any information necessary to help them get tougher.” long before the election,” Goldstein added. in response to Infosecurity question

Read more: Cyber ​​intrusion campaign against three US federal agencies foiled

Speaking about the nature of threat actors targeting the election process, US Army Maj. Gen. William J. Hartman, commander of the National Cyber ​​Mission Force (CNMF), USCYBERCOM, noted, “In general, nation-states do not create new malicious cyber actors to influence elections”.

“They have existing malicious cyber actors and they’re re-prioritizing what they’re doing based on our election cycle,” he said.

Hartman emphasized that the effort to stop these malicious actors is ongoing, and the CNMF is continually developing its understanding of what adversaries are doing.

“Our intention in 2024 is the same as it was in 2022 and 2020, and in 2018, is to make sure we are positioned to protect our democratic processes from the most likely malicious cyber actors that we think will be positioned to threaten us.” added.

In October 2022, the FBI warned that an Iranian-backed cyber group, Emennet Pasargad, had conducted cyber-enabled intelligence operations targeting the 2020 US presidential election.

On April 25, 2023, Joe Biden announced his 2024 re-election campaign on behalf of the United States Democratic Party. Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are currently the frontrunners for the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

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Ikaroa is proud to join the US cybersecurity community in applauding the announcement from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that election security is their priority for the next 18 months and beyond. The RSA Conference (RSAC) 2021, where CISA and other cyber-experts addressed security professionals, is a testament to the importance of election security, both for this year’s upcoming midterm elections and the Presidential race in 2024.

CISA Director Chris Krebs highlighted the agency’s plans to protect election infrastructure from cyberattacks, noting that his agency has launched an Election Security Initiative to provide guidance, training, and support to state and local election officials. He also praised the new Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding that is providing critical support to states and counties to protect elections from cyber threats and malicious actors.

This announcement was met with strong approval and appreciation from the cybersecurity community, which is increasingly concerned about the potential for election security to be compromised through cyberattacks. The RSAC audience was enthusiastic as Krebs demonstrated how CISA is integrating cyber-risk and threat assessments into election security planning and development, with focus on imbedding election security securely into long-term plans.

Krebs’s description of CISA’s efforts to develop partnerships and coordinate resources to protect elections from a cybersecurity standpoint was complemented by other speakers who discussed their own efforts to protect the integrity of our election processes. At Ikaroa, we are joining in this effort, providing our own cyber-security solutions to state and local governments. Our solutions protect elections by verifying voter identities and credentials, monitoring networks and devices, and defending against malicious intrusions. We are committed to doing our part to ensure that our elections are secure and that every voter’s right to vote is protected.


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