2018 Election “Cybertraining” for Florida Election Officials

Florida state and county election administrators recently met in Orlando, Florida to partake in a workshop on “cybertraining” to prepare for their 2018 elections.

The CIA has already warned that Russia or other nation-states are likely to try to interfere in 2018 midterms, as they did in 2016 elections. Reports on the 2016 hackers say 21 states were targeted, meaning not all 21 states’ systems were successfully penetrated. Illinois is the only state known to have had their state voter registration system hacked.

Although there was never any evidence of votes being affected by the 2016 nation-state hackers, the penetration of the systems was enough to prompt election officials to better protect their election systems and data.

While much of the conversation focused on securing systems and data to protect from cyberattacks, the workshop also included “next steps” breakout sessions specifically focused on the voting systems attacks. 

During the 2016 election, Russian hackers posed as a Florida election technology vendor sending phishing scams to election officials. There is no evidence that any of the phishing emails were opened.

The proactive efforts to prevent future election attacks should increase voter confidence in the integrity of elections. Election officials in other states are following Florida’s lead and diligently working to increase election system security.