Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said last week he would like to hire a cybersecurity specialist for his office to lead the state’s efforts to repel attempts to hack its election infrastructure. The new position would give Denney’s agency a full-time worker who can monitor and respond to threats against the state’s voter registration database and coordinate with clerks and other officials across Idaho’s 44 counties. Denney made the formal request to members of the Idaho state legislature last Friday, though plans for the new position have their origin in the $3.2 million grant the state received last year from the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission. According to a document Denney’s agency submitted to the EAC last July, Idaho would spend up to $220,000 in salary and benefits for a cybersecurity professional specializing in election issues.
“What we’re trying to do is have a point person who can watch all the alerts from the Department of Homeland Security and communicate out to the county clerks,” Kristie Winslow, a spokeswoman for Denney, told StateScoop. “It’s about prevention and making sure any systems related to this office don’t get hacked.”
Currently, Winslow said Idaho’s counties are practically on their own when it comes to responding to cyberthreats. While the Information Technology Services office led by longtime state Chief Information Officer Greg Zickau has cybersecurity personnel, Winslow said it doesn’t have anyone who specializes in election technology.
“We need someone who understands the election systems,” she said.
Full Article: Idaho plans to hire a cybersecurity specialist for elections.