In episode 11 of the Security Stories podcast we dive into the world of election security, with the help of Talos’ Director of Threat Intelligence, Matt Olney, and Cisco’s US public sector cybersecurity expert, Steve Caimi.

To quote fictional president Dr Josiah Bartlet, “Decisions are made by those who show up”. Protecting people’s right to show up and be heard is fundamental. That’s what this episode is all about.

After the Washington Post first reported in the summer of 2016  on how adversaries had breached servers for one of America’s two major national political parties, Talos initiated what would become a long-running and hands on investigation into election security issues.  This included watching one state plan an election in real-time.

Matt Olney Director of Threat Intelligence at Talos

These findings were ultimately published in a paper called ‘What to expect when you’re electing’, released last month. For the purpose of the podcast, Matt talks about the major reveals from the paper, and recalls his experience of venturing into deep levels of research into election security.

He also talks about how he perceives the situation to be in the run up to United States’ General Election in November.

We were able to talk to Matt for about an hour (and we could have talked to him for far longer) and it truly is a fascinating story with many lessons learned, and it’s an important reflection on where America stands now on election security.

Our second guest Steve has over 20 years experience in cybersecurity and has an in depth knowledge of industry best practices including the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, the NIST Risk Management Framework, and the MITRE ATTACK framework.

During the podcast Steve provides many recommendations for security practitioners in the context of election security.

Back in the virtual studio, Ben, Noureen and Hazel discuss their own personal experiences of voting in elections from their different corners of the world (the UK, Ireland and the United States).

Listen to the podcast

Don’t miss this special episode of Security Stories. 

You can listen to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you normally get your podcasts from! You can also listen right here and now:

Time stamps:

0:00 Intro and highlights of Black Hat

06:20 Interview with Matt and Steve

1:03 Conversations about our own voting experiences

1:18 Close

More election security resources

This is just the start of our election coverage in the run up to November, but in the meantime, here are some resources you may find useful:

Giving others a boost in cybersecurity

And finally, our latest podcast brings you highlights of some of my favorite interviews with security leaders so far.

There’s a definite theme to the clips I’ve chosen – it’s all about what we can do to help each other.

There are ideas here about some of the things that we can do to make sure the cybersecurity industry becomes more accessible in the future, in terms of attracting talent from more places. And there are important discussions on the role of an ally; those who can give up their privilege in order to give others a boost.

Listen below, or check out our podcast page for more options:


Hazel Burton

Global Cybersecurity Product Marketing Manager, Thought Leadership

Cisco Secure