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Homeland Security Wants to Help Secure the Voting Process

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted a phone call this week to offer up assistance securing election infrastructure from cyber threats.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson spoke with members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and other Chief Election Officials to offer a helping hand in the area of election cybersecurity, which is a growing concern as elections approach.

Participants in the call included representatives from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the Department of Commerce’s National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

DHS clarified that there are currently no known “credible cybersecurity threats relating to the upcoming general election systems,” so the call served as a more of a preemptive measure, rather than a reactive measure based on current cyber threats.

Additionally, Secretary Johnson announced that DHS is planning a Voting Infrastructure Cybersecurity Action Campaign to raise overall awareness and also promote cybersecurity of the election process. The Action Campaign will include experts from both government agencies and the private sector.

Election cybersecurity concerns rising

Concerns over election day cyber threats have heightened following the [link url=”http://abcnews.go.com/US/concerns-election-day-cyberattacks-mount-wake-dnc-hack/story?id=41218106″ title=”hacking”] of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems last month.

The DNC hacking, which is still under investigation, served to reignite the conversation of electoral process cybersecurity, and spurred various politicians to start calling for action. Some politicians are [link url=”http://abcnews.go.com/US/concerns-election-day-cyberattacks-mount-wake-dnc-hack/story?id=41218106″ title=”calling for more involvement”] from the federal government in the protection of voting processes, while others are [link url=”http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-vote-fraud-20160812-snap-story.html” title=”questioning the reliability”] of the voting process in general.

All told, the uncertainty and unrest surrounding the voting process could easily tax local law enforcement resources around the nation. But, on the cybersecurity side, Security Johnson’s call this week points to more federal government involvement if various election groups across the nation accept the offered assistance.

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