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Cybersecurity and your vote

2020 is a general election year—see how IU experts are helping to safeguard the election process in Indiana

Whether it’s Russians hacking into the Illinois election database or the phish that took down the computer system for the entire city of New Orleans, cyberattacks are just a part of modern life.

And with the 2020 primary and general elections looming, election officials in Indiana are gearing up to manage every aspect of voting in their county: from registration and poll worker training to verifying IDs and staying apprised of potential cybersecurity threats.  

Tabletop exercises help election administrators prepare for worst-case scenarios on Election Day. I appreciate IU developing real-world scenarios that tested our skills and helped us prepare for the 2020 election and beyond. Indiana's election administrators are better prepared thanks to IU's hard work.

Connie Lawson, Indiana secretary of state

That’s where Indiana University comes in. Late last year, the Indiana Secretary of State’s office asked a team of IU cybersecurity experts to lead a half-day incident response fundamentals workshop during its annual Election Administrators Conference. Featuring realistic tabletop exercises as well as remarks from leaders, the IU workshop helped attendees become better informed about potential threats affecting Indiana’s elections and how to prevent and mitigate them.

The workshop was the first event to stem from a recent $300K award from the Secretary of State’s office for IU to review and improve the state’s election cybersecurity incident response plan. These funds are part of a one-time $10 million appropriation for election security that had been budgeted by the Indiana General Assembly during the legislative session.

“Tabletop exercises help election administrators prepare for worst-case scenarios on Election Day. I appreciate IU developing real-world scenarios that tested our skills and helped us prepare for the 2020 election and beyond. Indiana's election administrators are better prepared thanks to IU's hard work,” said Connie Lawson, Indiana secretary of state.

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