States Get Assistance on Election Cybersecurity

National Governors Association Selects Six States for Policy Academy

As states prepare for the 2020 election cycle, the National Governors Association will work with six competitively selected states on strategies to improve cybersecurity operations and communications around elections.

Staff from NGA Solutions’ Homeland Security and Public Safety division will assist Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada and Virginia to develop plans for refining and implementing promising practices in cybersecurity operations to ensure the integrity of elections in their states.

Participants from governors’ offices, election officials and state cabinet agencies will engage in dialogue across state lines and work to enhance interagency communication and cooperation. NGA staff will offer technical assistance to help the states enhance interagency communication and cooperation, promote engagement by governors’ offices, and facilitate the development of statewide response plans for attacks on election infrastructure.

At the National Summit on State Cybersecurity in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana, last month, NGA staff joined officials from all 50 states to address common cybersecurity challenges, including potential attacks on election infrastructure. In a keynote speech, Christopher Krebs, the director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told state officials that cyberattacks related to the 2016 election were a “wake-up call” across the federal government and changed how the American people view threats to the integrity of elections.

The NGA policy academy will run from June to December of this year. It is a partnership with the University of Southern California and supported by the National Association of State Election Directors and the National Association of Secretaries of State, with financial support from the Democracy Fund.