Former Federal CISO Touhill Shares Election Security Insights as US Midterm Elections Approach

US midterm elections

Retired Brigadier General Gregory Touhill, who was elected by the former US President Barack Obama as the first CISO of the federal government, highlights the constitutive measures for battling against Russian meddling during 2018 US midterm elections.

For instance, in the case of voter registration, he says, “To maintain the integrity in election’s process, only the eligible voters must be allowed to cast vote. We need to maintain a very robust authentication not only the people who are registering to cast vote, but also for people who access the information of the enrollment records.

Voting machines must be guarded with security (both physical and technological). Plus, just as essential, the complete software supply chain for these machines needs to be protected, he says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

Touhill stresses that possibly the safest method to voter tabulation is to use only paper ballots. “I am not really sure about the electronic voting because frankly I have not found a means of securing that vote that meets my satisfaction,” he says.

Talking about Russia’s utilization of social media campaigns to meddle with US politics, the retired military officer says that such propaganda drives have been “part of their modus operandi for decades.”

Touhill’s proposal for tackling Russia’s covert election intervention? “Perhaps, the best way to deal with that is a free and open press,” he says. “A free and open press is one of the best defenses against influence operations because the press is exceptionally good at ferreting out falsehoods.”

 

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