WASHINGTON – Last week, senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) participated in a series of coordination meetings with state and local election officials, private sector companies, and federal partners to discuss cybersecurity for the nation’s election infrastructure.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
DHS, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), and state and local election officials convened a meeting of the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) for the Election Infrastructure Subsector. The GCC was established in October and provides a well-tested mechanism for sharing threat information between the federal government and council partners, advancing risk management efforts, and prioritizing focus of services available to sector partners in a trusted environment.
DHS met with private sector election industry representatives in Arlington, Va., who had gathered to formally establish a Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) for the Election Infrastructure Subsector, the private sector counterpart to the GCC. This GCC-SCC structure is used by the 16 critical infrastructure sectors to facilitate joint engagement with government and private sector entities and to coordinate security and resilience efforts. The charter organizations of the SCC for the Election Infrastructure Subsector include 25 private sector and non-government organizations (listed below).
Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with the NASS Executive Board to discuss DHS’ commitment to working with state election officials on cybersecurity for the midterm elections and beyond.
In addition, DHS joined together with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to sponsor classified briefings for election officials from all 50 states. A similar briefing occurred on Sunday, February 18, 2018. These briefings focused on increasing awareness of foreign adversary intent and capabilities against the states’ election infrastructure, as well as a discussion of threat mitigation efforts.
Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018
On Saturday, DHS met with Secretaries of State and other chief election officials at the NASS Winter Conference and National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) Winter Conference. National Protection and Programs Directorate Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary Chris Krebs and Acting Deputy Under Secretary Bob Kolasky addressed attendees at the NASS conference. Acting Deputy Under Secretary Kolasky then met with NASED. At both conferences, DHS reiterated the department’s commitment to working with election officials and system owners to support their efforts and determine where DHS support adds the most value. The department lends its expertise and services to election partners on a voluntary basis, including risk and vulnerability assessments, cyber hygiene scans, providing real-time threat intelligence feeds, issuing security clearances to state officials, partnering on incident response planning, and delivering cybersecurity training.
Members of the GCC are available here.
Members of the SCC include:
- Associated Press (AP) Elections*
- BPro, Inc.
- Clear Ballot Group
- DemTech Voting Solutions
- Democracy Live
- Democracy Works (Parent organization for the Voting Information Project)
- Dominion Voting Systems
- ELECTEC Election Services Inc.
- Election Systems & Software
- Everyone Counts
- Hart InterCivic
- Microvote General Corp.
- PCC Technology Inc.
- Pro V&V
- SLI Compliance
- Tenex Software Solutions
- Unisyn Voting Solutions
- VR Systems
*AP Elections is responsible for the election night projections. The SCC membership does not include journalists.
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