The Cook County Clerk’s office, the chief election authority for more than 120 towns and villages in suburban Cook County, Illinois, is pleased to announce they have been nominated to compete in the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.
Their new white paper proposal entitled “2020 Vision: Election Security in the Age of Committed Foreign Threats” is the nation’s first ever cybersecurity election plan.
The white paper is sponsored by David Orr, Clerk, Cook County, Illinois, and authored by Noah Praetz, Director of Elections, for Cook County, Illinois.
This landmark plan is an important step forward in securing U.S. election infrastructure, designated as critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2017.
The entire national security establishment admonishes that threats to our election infrastructure are real.
Foreign governments, foreign non-state actors, and domestic troublemakers have the capacity and desire to corrode the essential public belief that our election outcomes are true and reliable.
To very different degrees this threat applies to both preliminary returns announced on election night and to official, final results.
Beyond results, the threat applies to the large variety of systems used to run seamless elections.
These Systems Include:
- Electronic and Paper Pollbooks
- Voter Registration and Election Management Systems
- Websites with Voter Tools and Public Information, and
- A Variety of Subsystems Such As:
- Ballot Printing Systems
- Mail Ballot Preparation and Processing Systems, and
- Essential Election Support Systems like Election Day Control Centers
Local election officials – nearly 9,000 of them in the country – are the shock troops on this new battlefield, in desperate need of resources, including federal government resources. Policymakers and funders must act now to ensure election security.
(Foreign hackers targeted voter registration databases in at least two states in 2016. Courtesy of Fox News, ‘Special Report’ and YouTube. Posted on Aug 29, 2016)
Defend – Detect – Recover
The new security mantra for local election official’s is “defend, detect, recover,” and this Cook County Clerk’s Office white paper proposal addresses each of these vital components with proactive action planning.
Mr. Praetz’s proposal consists of a list of achievable actions which should be taken to protect the integrity of the ballot box against known cybersecurity threats to our election infrastructure. The list highlights the responsibilities of policymakers and funders, potential approaches for election officials, their election infrastructure and information security officer, which includes employing defense tactics and policies for each system, those online and offline.
Election officials are serving valiantly and professionally. They are talented and capable. They are holding the line.
But they require the necessary support and resources in order to do so.
It is impossible to defend against every conceivable attack, but if we proactively defend against known attacks, detect breaches should they occur, and recover from them quickly, we will survive any incident.
And so will faith in our democracy.
(Learn More, courtesy of the Cook County Clerk’s Office and YouTube)
Cook County Clerk’s Office in 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program
AST focuses on Homeland Security and Public Safety Breaking News, the Newest Initiatives and Hottest Technologies in Physical & IT Security, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges.
The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, Border Security, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’
As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, the Cook County Clerk’s office proposal, “White Paper: 2020 Vision: Election Security in the Age of Committed Foreign Threats,” will be competing against the industry’s leading providers of Innovative Cyber Security Programs for Government.
To Learn More about the ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, see 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East.
Over 100 distinguished guests from National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Executives from companies allied to Government, gathered from across North America and the Middle East to be honored from disciplines across the Security Industry in their respective fields which included:
- The Department of Homeland Security
- The Department of Justice
- The Security Exchange Commission
- State and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies
- Leaders in Private Security
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
American Security Today will be holding the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon to honor Nominees, Finalists and Winners in November 2018, in New York City.
For ‘ASTORS’ Sponsorship Opportunities and More Information on the AST 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732.233.8119 (mobile) or 646-450-6027 (office).
Good luck to the Cook County Clerk’s office on becoming a Winner of the 2018 American Security Today’s Homeland Security Awards Program!
Click here to learn more about the Cook County Clerk’s office.
To view the “White Paper: 2020 Vision: Election Security in the Age of Committed Foreign Threats” white paper proposal in it’s entirety, please go to https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon-25/Election%20Security%20White%20Paper_Praetz_12062017.pdf
(Learn More. Election Day is an incredibly busy time for election officials, and among the many tasks they have is managing incoming information about challenges poll workers or voters are facing at the polls. Providing feedback and assistance as quickly as possible is an important part of running a successful election. Cook County, Illinois uses a call center and data management tool called an Automated Call Form to manage, sort, and provide an immediate response to reported issues. Hear from Noah Praetz, the director of elections in Cook County, regarding how this system works, why it was created, and how other jurisdictions can use the system as well. Courtesy of U.S. Election Assistance Commission and YouTube. Posted on Sep 7, 2016)