U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) recently received a response to his request for information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding reports that foreign actors hacked into American political organizations.
Carper asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to provide information about how his department is supporting state and local elections officials who request assistance in maintaining the cybersecurity infrastructure of their elections systems.
“In August, I hosted a phone call with election officials from across the country and representatives from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Justice to discuss the cybersecurity of election infrastructure,” Johnson said. “I began by recognizing the important work state and local officials across the country have already begun to reduce risks and ensure the integrity of their elections. I also emphasized that cyber experts at the Department of Homeland Security are available to assist state and local election officials in securing their systems, just as we do for businesses and other entities across the spectrum of the private and public sectors.”
Johnson said that support for local elections systems is available on a strictly voluntary basis that includes on-site risk and vulnerability assessments, cyber hygiene scans, sharing information on cyber incidents, and best practices for securing election systems.
“In recent weeks, a number of states have reached out to us with questions or for assistance,” Johnson added.