INDIANAPOLIS – Leaders in the region talk about electoral security. More specifically, how you can play a role in keeping democracy secure.
The USC Electoral Cybersecurity Initiative is an independent and independent project, designed to inform and educate people in campaigns and elections about the importance of electoral cybersecurity.
On Thursday, the program hosted a virtual conference for the following states, IN, IL, MI, MN, OH and WI.
One of the keynote speakers, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, said electoral cybersecurity is a goalless race.
“You have to be one step ahead of the bad guys all the time,” Simon explained.
Goals are always changing and lately there has been less of an attempt to hack machines and manipulate the minds of voters.
“It’s important that we don’t lower our guard,” Simon said.
That’s why experts suggest we all check our sources when it comes to election information. Is the site legitimate? Is the same information confirmed by several credible outlets? Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he worked with local media to educate the public.
“Because the vast majority of journalists I know are deeply concerned with getting the story right, but they’re not election experts, they’ve never been on the board of the election board,” La Rose said.
Hackers can also try to manipulate voters by accessing their computers directly. The director of the USC Computer Systems Security Center, Clifford Neuman, emphasizes treating technology like a castle and creating multiple barriers to entry. He said the first is a secure password.
“It’s best to make a sentence,” Neuman said. “Come up with a phrase like ‘Keepth3m0utofRsystems’.”
Many say COVID-19 made the last election the toughest so far. There were more people than ever online due to staying home and it was difficult to create in-person voting precautions.
“This really took the oxygen out of the room to most rooms when it came to election administration,” Simon said.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he is proud of the way the state conducted the 2020 election, but said more guarantees are always needed in the future.
“Ensuring the integrity of our elections is an issue that transcends political parties and is more critical than ever, as technology continues to advance at the apparent speed of light,” Holcomb said.
For more resources on electoral cybersecurity, click here.
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