Election Interference and You

Election Interference and YouIn these partisan times, it’s easy to process all-things-news through left or right filters. However, when it comes to foreign actors interfering in our election, it’s really not a partisan issue. The truth is, foreign countries attempting to interfere in our elections is nothing new. It’s been going on for decades, and dare I say it, we’ve had a hand in our own shenanigans with other nations’ elections as well. The difference today is the technology being used, and the vast reach this technology enables. How does that relate to you?

What we’ve learned from last week’s joint CISA and FBI announcement is the players attempting to disrupt our elections are the same players who’ve been engaged in numerous hacks, attacks, and cyber thefts over the past several years. Essentially, they’re state-funded cybercriminals. These are the same people who are launching ransomware attacks, stealing our personal data, and subsequently costing the global economy billions of dollars annually.

But there’s a nexus to all of this that’s easily overlooked. For example, the recent findings announced last week was that Iran and Russia were sending emails, purportedly spoofing that they were from a right-wing extremist group, intimidating voters in specific geographies not to vote. This is an evolution from the previous allegations of fake news articles posted on social media sites about politicians and various conspiracies. If we project this evolution one step further, we can project these tactics will be used to attack individuals – all automated, and on a massive scale. We stated previously these criminal organizations are the same ones who have thousands of data points on most Americans. It stands to reason in this election cycle or the next, we’re going to see influence tactics addressed to us personally, threatening to expose or share this information with others.

And therein lies the problem with all of this personal information in the hands of cybercriminals. We are now seeing that it can, and will be used to intimidate and influence us into decisions, choices, or behaviors we may otherwise not make. If you don’t think this is a real concern, ask anyone who has had their identity stolen what the following 6 months of their life was like. It’s a nightmare that can take months and years to unravel and repair. I’ll bet you never considered the possibility that using the word “password” as your password could jeopardize our national security and our freedom (ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is election season, after all).

Finally, these are the reasons why you taking responsibility to protect your personal and professional data matters. Of course, if you’re charged with protecting Protected Health Information, that information in the wrong hands can be used to blackmail and compromise any of us, including those who have their hands on the levers of power. It’s not a benign obligation. Truly, that responsibility transcends just achieving HIPAA compliance. That’s where we shine the brightest. For less than the price of most of our competitors who offer just HIPAA compliance, our process goes beyond compliance and evaluates your overall network security and cybersecurity weaknesses. Let us show you how we’re different, how we’re better.

If you’re interested in more information on foreign election influence, CISA has posted an excellent resource here: https://www.cisa.gov/cfi-task-force.

Be safe.

If you have any questions or if you are concerned about your organization’s cybersecurity, give us a call at (800) 970-0402. We’ll be happy to help.

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