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Most security pros don't think governments can protect election infrastructure from cyberattacks

(Image credit: Image Credit: Deepadesigns / Shutterstock)

Cybersecurity experts doubt local governments can defend election infrastructure against both domestic and international cyberattacks, according to a new report from machine identity protection firm Venafi.

Polling 485 IT security professionals in attendance at RSA Conference 2020, Venafi found that 70 percent of respondents believe election infrastructure is at risk.

Three quarters (75 percent) see fake news as the most significant threat to the integrity of the upcoming US elections (opens in new tab). Kevin Bocek, VP of Security Strategy and Threat Intelligence at Venafi, believes security professionals should focus on ways to eliminate disinformation to the greatest degree possible.

“Many of the cyberattacks targeting elections come from machines, which can automatically spread information and direct attacks on the systems that count votes,” said Bocek.

“Security professionals are rightly concerned about cyberthreats impacting the democratic process. Organisations may have difficulty curbing deceptive or inaccurate information from people; however, they can keep their machines from spreading malicious disinformation.”

According to Bocek, the coronavirus pandemic has only served to complicate the issue.

 “The election season (opens in new tab) is already in process and Covid-19 adds a new layer of security complications. Cyber attackers may take advantage of this period of uncertainty to undermine further public confidence by spreading disinformation. As a result, it’s not surprising security professionals are concerned that governments won’t be able to safeguard election data," he said.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.