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Helping the Idaho Secretary of State Transform Election Cybersecurity

Helping the Idaho Secretary of State Transform Election Cybersecurity

Chad Houck (Deputy Secretary of State) with Boise State computer science students Stacy Black, Sammie Fullmer, Rezvan Joshaghani, Praneeth Marella, and Subin Sapkota.

In 2017, the Harvard Kennedy School released a set of cybersecurity guidelines to raise awareness and provide cybersecurity best practices for campaign and election professionals. With the help of these guidelines, the Department of Computer Science with Dr. Hoda Mehrpouyan as a Principal Investigator and Dr. Amit Jain as a Co-Principal Investigator is collaborating with the office of Idaho Secretary of State to help create a team of students, politicians, and election administrators that better understand the cybersecurity challenges that local election processes face. This work is funded by a grant from the Idaho Secretary of State and Department of Homeland Security.

The goal of this project is to create a set of guidelines and best cybersecurity practices that are unique to the state of Idaho’s election process, and which result in identification of threats and provide practical solutions.

Five Boise State Computer Science graduate and undergraduate students  (shown in the picture above) are taking a leading role in the design of the project. Thirty additional computer science students will have various supporting roles alongside the Idaho Secretary of State and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in designing and/or conducting this Cybersecurity TableTop eXercise (TTX), a preparedness activity that will take participants through a mock cybersecurity scenario that will be conducted on 9th January, 2019.

 

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