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Washington State Reveals Upcoming Federal Cybersecurity Pilot, After DHS Confirms Attempted Election

Published: September 26, 2017

Cybersecuritye-GovernmentElectionsGeneral Government ServicesInformation TechnologyWASHINGTON

Washington State, one of 21 states officially notified of an attempted election breach by the Department of Homeland Security, is embarking on a federal pilot to strengthen cybersecurity.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have formally notified states that had been targeted by the Russian government attempts to hack election-related sites and information.  Election officials for the 21 affected states were contacted Sept. 22 to confirm the status of the attacks. 

As reported by GovTech, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman confirmed hearing from DHS that the state was targeted in a Sept. 22 statement.  With its next election roughly six weeks away, Washington state’s director of elections, Lori Augino, said her agency is poised to embark on a three-month pilot with DHS and the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to improve the state elections process. 

Washington state’s next election will be held on November 7.  Augino said that the pilot program would likely center on “ramping up some of the cybersecurity protections that are already in place and trying to identify new things we can do” to better protect election integrity.