How to keep political campaigns secure

By Mick Baccio

Political campaigns in the United States and abroad have been riddled the past several years with successful and unsuccessful cyberattacks. Now, it’s a presidential election year and not enough has changed to stop history from repeating itself. Campaigns still have a bullseye on their backs and bad actors are firing. Not to mention that COVID-19 only makes these security shortfalls more acute, and further strains limited campaign resources.

State and local campaigns are in dire need of help and they need it now. Recent primary elections in several states have highlighted cybersecurity issues in election administration – but that’s a separate topic for a separate day. In lieu of any existing federal guidance or oversight, here are five steps state and local campaigns can take right now to help them through the next election without a catastrophic cybersecurity incident.

Campaign culture and cybersecurity are often in conflict with one another. Campaigns run everything on a shoestring. In many cases, political campaigns don’t invest enough in cybersecurity, or they don’t take it seriously. As the CISO for Pete for America, I was on a campaign that cared about cybersecurity, but Mayor Pete’s campaign was far from the norm.  more

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