Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said election infrastructure should be recognized as a subsector of the existing government facilities critical infrastructure sector and be a priority for cybersecurity assistance and protection.
Johnson wrote in a blog post published Friday such determination will add election infrastructure, including centralized vote tabulations locations, communications technologies, polling places and storage facilities, as a priority on the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we offer our assistance to state and local election officials in the cybersecurity of their systems,” said Johnson.
“Election infrastructure is vital to our national interests, and cyber attacks on this country are becoming more sophisticated, and bad cyber actors — ranging from nation states, cyber criminals and hacktivists — are becoming more sophisticated and dangerous.”
The post noted that there are currently 16 critical infrastructure sectors that include 20 subsectors which may ask for cybersecurity assistance from the Department of Homeland Security including commercial facilities, communications, emergency services and information technology.