Cybersecurity election year challenges

Election-year cybersecurity efforts are in full swing.

Cybersecurity is much more than just part of a stump speech in this election year. Between reports of multiple Russian groups hacking into the Democratic Party and preparations underway to lock down IT at the Republican national convention, cybersecurity is front page news.

This spring, the Democratic National Committee’s network was breached by at least two groups suspected to operate out of Russia. One group gathered the DNC’s research on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, while the other snooped through email and chat communications for nearly a year. The sophisticated attacks were considered emblematic of Russian government hacking despite a spokesman’s denial of any federal involvement.

The Republican National Committee has been preparing for cyber warfare at the upcoming July RNC convention in Cleveland.

“We expect that the attacks we’ll face will be motivated by defacement and disruption, not the theft of data assets,” Max Everett, convention CIO, said in an interview.

Physical threats like interference with lighting systems, cutting off phones or interfering with the water supply for the event are all vectors that the US Secret Service is working with local providers on securing. The full-time team charged with cybersecurity operations for the convention’s digital systems and network infrastructure has six people. It is expected to grow by 50 specialist contractors onsite as the convention gets started. AT&T will focus on connectivity and network resistance, Microsoft securing their cloud platform for database, asset storage and chat systems, and Cisco providing network infrastructure like routers, switches and firewalls.

Malicious activity tends to increase as the event gets closer and spikes with the kickoff of the convention. Already numerous targeted phishing attempts have been intercepted. Past events have experienced attempted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Everett stressed that the attacks really aren’t anything out of the ordinary and, “It’s the same type of stuff that happens every day to companies in the private sphere.”

Uplogix Cybersecurity for DDoS Attacks

Uplogix can take the management interface for infrastructure devices out of the network path. Out-of-route management reduces potential exploits through denial of service or intrusion. Local management provides secure device access by maintaining and enforcing AAA (Authentication, Authorization and Accounting) regardless of the state of the network; granular, role-based permissioning; logging and compliance reporting; and session management. These features help to securely manage firewalls and other devices remotely, saving both response time and physical security by allowing exports to support distributed networks from a central location.



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