Today’s special edition post is a part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, where we will discuss election security and the imperative duty to safeguard our democratic systems.

Elections are top of mind – for voters, for candidates, and for governments around the world. From the high-profile efforts around foreign meddling to cyber attackers continuously taking advantage of the pandemic situation, ensuring election integrity is more important than ever.

What American voters should know before November 3

Over the past few months, we have proudly taken a leading role in educating election officials, security pros, and voters on the successes, challenges, and adversarial tactics related to election security.

Last week, Cisco hosted a panel conversation, where experts discussed the state of the upcoming election, revealing insights from new research that delves into effective communications for election officials. They help dispel myths, share deep knowledge, and bring clarity to the state of our elections. As confusing contradictory messages continue to permeate every platform, Cisco responds with a crack team of election security educators to help explain to voters what exactly is going on.

Countering disinformation and the fake news challenge

Threat actors aren’t simply concerned with modifying of votes, there are broad efforts to manipulate voters and to undermine faith in democracy in general.

Based on years of research and real-world experience working to secure elections, Cisco Talos lends recommendations for us, as we each have a role to play in working against attackers who would interfere in free and fair elections:

  • Everyone should understand that interference in, and attacks on, the election system are part of a larger, coordinated attack on the very concept of free democracies.
  • Security improvements in election security can best be achieved by combining the expertise of election officials with that of traditional security practitioners.
  • Election officials should extract maximum value from this period of heightened interest in election security.
  • Security practitioners should recognize the specialized nature of the elections environment and be careful to provide the best advice for that unique environment.
  • Everyone has a role to play in ensuring that faith in democratic institutions is reinforced and that social divides aren’t unnecessarily aggravated.

And one final pro tip: Don’t panic! Disinformation campaigns on the regular is normal and happens every election.

#Protect2020 with Cisco Security

We know that election security cannot be solved just by looking at disparate components of the system. Cisco cyber experts recommend an architectural approach that encompasses a complete infrastructure outlook – a systemic review that examines all technology, processes, and even the people who run the election. Advanced cybersecurity controls must be integrated into the election infrastructure itself, not bolted on later.

We get it. You need a security partner you can trust. SecureX is the only integrated platform that simplifies your experience, accelerates mission success, and secures future government operations. We make our security technologies work in concert to strengthen your election security program.

Together, we can reinforce faith in our election systems and trust in the fundamental pillars of democracy. At Cisco, we’re committed to securing what’s now and what’s next.

What measures are you taking to protect election systems? Comment below. Share your thoughts. Join the conversation. Keep an eye out for the next #GovernmentNow post and follow along with our #NCSAM series.


Dani Schrakamp

Global Market Lead | Government, Smart Cities, and Transportation

Growth Marketing and Sales