The 2016 campaign was a nightmare for Democrats. So Democratic National Committee Chief Technology Officer Raffi Krikorian was brought in to the DNC in 2017 to make sure embarrassing breaches — and the subsequent leak of internal communications — weren’t repeated. But with fewer than 70 days to go until the midterm elections, there’s still a lot of room for improvement, he acknowledged, both inside and outside the organization. “We all still have work to do. And we’re not getting the support that I think we need from … governmental agencies,” Krikorian said. “This is the thing that keeps me up at night.”
The Democratic Party is a “federation,” he told NPR. The largely independent state parties mean that in some aspects of its online operations, the DNC can only be as secure as its least secure member.
Krikorian, who joined the DNC after stints at Uber and Twitter, says some of his work still involves teaching simple best practices, such as encouraging all branches of the party to use complex passwords and two-factor authentication.
Last week, the DNC landed in the headlines for what at first appeared to be an attempted cyberattack on the party’s voter database, but later turned out to be a false alarm. The Michigan Democratic Party had been engaging in a test of the system’s security without informing the national organization.