Improving Cybersecurity Pitfalls With Self-Education, System Assessments And Skills Training

Michael Moniz, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Circadence, a leader in cybersecurity learning and training solutions. 

Every election is an uphill battle when it comes to ensuring the proper cybersecurity precautions are in place. Cybersecurity plays a big role in the election process even though it’s not the first thing people always think about when heading to the polls or filling out their mail-in ballot. Cybersecurity practices help protect the votes of the American people. Below is a summary of what and how cybersecurity pitfalls can cause challenges during an election and a few ways to overcome them with human-centered cyber skills training. 

The Vulnerabilities Of Election Security

There are many ways cyberthreats can infiltrate an election system and cause adverse effects. Some of these are at in-person voting polls, hacktivists groups threatening voter data, social media hacktivist manipulation, and a lack of cybersecurity training for election workers and volunteers.

Vulnerability during an election is nothing new to our country. Hacktivist groups compromise election security through various technology loopholes, such as:

• Shutting down a voter registration database at voting polls.

• Uploading voter files with false information.

• Compromising a county’s social media account and posting fake voting locations, news and headlines.

• Shutting down cell towers in specific areas.

The progress and pains that the 2020 general election has brought are prompting federal, state, city and county agencies to recalculate, recalibrate and reevaluate their election systems, processes and technology to address the threat of election interference and voter fraud.

Social Media Fabrications 

Over the last year, we’ve seen how the digital age and social media play a role in how voters obtain news and information, even if it’s from unauthorized sources. Unfortunately, hacktivist groups can infiltrate social media accounts, create new authoritative-looking accounts and use social sharing to release unverified information that tries to alter the political opinions of the public.

Years ago, political smear campaigns took place during TV…