Security and Intelligence Agencies Partner Up to Address Cybersecurity Ahead of Election

As highlighted by Kelsey Atherton at Fifth Domain, DHS and DOD have taken steps in recent weeks to ensure information is being adequately shared between all relevant parties heading into an election marked by intense cybersecurity concerns.

DHS Director of Cybersecurty Operations Boyden Rohner said, “What we’ve got going on right now is a full court press in support of state and local governments to secure election infrastructure,” with Atherton summarizing the blitz of activity as including “everything from increasing the tempo of information-sharing with state and local officials to implementing unspecified technology solutions and working with vendors.

Rohner made the comments at the CyberCon 2018 conference, noting that he had personally seen the increased collaborative efforts across federal security agencies.

“I just came from a meeting where we brought 11 DoD folks on board to get familiar with the Department of Homeland Security” way of doing things, Rohner said. “They started this week, learning our environments; staying within their authorities, but getting a better understanding of what we do, so we can speak a similar lexicon when it really matters.”

Federal leaders have displayed confidence publicly that there will be no issues, with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen promising it will be “the most secure election we’ve ever had.” However, she also noted that the lack of aggressive activity targeting our networks and underlying her confidence “can change in an hour.”

In a joint statement from the FBI, DOJ, DHS, and Director of National Intelligence, the agencies’ heads wrote, "Our agencies have been making preparations for nearly two years in advance of these elections and are closely engaged with officials on the ground to help them ensure the voting process is secure."

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