Vermont Business Magazine Today, March 21, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos will appear before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence representing the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) to testify on existing cyber security measures protecting elections, as well as the need for dedicated resources allocated by Congress to ensure the ongoing protection of our elections from foreign interference and other security risks.
In June 2017 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presented information that 21 states were targeted by foreign cyber-attacks in the 2016 election season. Of those 21 states, only one was notified of an actual breach of a state voter registration system. According to information from DHS, the majority of known activities were scans of voter registration systems. Vermont was not one of the 21 states targeted.
“The cyber activities we have been informed about by our federal partners are akin to a burglar looking in the windows and jiggling the door knobs” said Secretary Condos. “Cyber criminals and the methods they use are constantly evolving, and anyone who tells you they’re 100% secure today can’t say the same thing tomorrow. In order to effectively ensure that our election systems remain protected we must work daily to stay one step ahead of the hackers.”
In January 2017 DHS designated election systems as ‘critical infrastructure.’ Secretary Condos has worked alongside Secretaries from across the country and with federal partners to increase communication and information sharing between the states and DHS to improve effective collaboration on cyber security measures.
Secretary Condos will appear on behalf of NASS, which represents a bi-partisan group of 55 members, and 40 Chief State Election Officials. He will present testimony on existing measures and best practices states have in place, as well as the need for the release of remaining Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds previously allocated by Congress.
“One of the most critical resources that Congress could provide to the states is the remaining $396 million in HAVA funds so that states can conduct the necessary work to implement additional cybersecurity protections and begin to purchase new voting systems” said Secretary Condos. “The time to act is now, as we are now only eight months away from the November General Election.”
Secretary Condos is the President-elect of NASS, and will be sworn in as President in July of this year. He represents NASS and Vermont on the Department of Homeland Security’s Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, which was established following the designation of election systems as ‘critical infrastructure.’
Source: Secretary of State 3.21.2018