department of homeland security flag

Federal Cybersecurity Agency Prioritizes Addressing Chinese Threats, Improving Election Security

The leader of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, which works within DHS, is concerned primarily with risk management, Chinese threats to supply chains and election security.

The Department of Homeland Security’s central cybersecurity agency is focused on addressing the “persistent threat” posed by Chinese hackers, improving election security and defending against ransomware attacking government systems, according to a strategy memo released by the department. 


In his agency’s “strategic intent” document, Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said the agency is looking to improve the country’s supply chain risk management when it comes to China. The U.S. has consistently accused Chinese hackers of attempting to compromise American companies and systems, particularly through 5G or other technology. 


Krebs laid out the plans during a speech at Auburn University last week, describing CISA’s principles as “Defend today. Secure tomorrow.” 


“Defending today, we’re working with state and local governments to help protect themselves, to help defend their networks so they’re not tomorrow’s headline,” Krebs said, according to MeriTalk. “The secure tomorrow piece is a little bit different. Securing tomorrow is about, what does the next generation of technology look like, and have we baked in the appropriate security concepts?”


Krebs added that the agency spends “probably 40 to 50 percent” on election security issues as DHS and other departments recognize the threats posed by Russian interference and how to address them. 


“I know what the Russians did in 2016, I know what they tried to do in 2018, I need to know what they’re going to try to do in 2020,” Krebs said, according to The Hill.


Lawmakers have recently battled over election security measures, as Democrats push for legislation that would establish federal standards for states, which are responsible for administering and counting ballots. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans say there is no need to bring election security bills forward, citing improvements that states have made in securing election machines, buying new equipment and other measures. 


But cybersecurity experts continue to sound the alarm over the issue, blaming private companies for selling machines that are not properly secured and counties for buying the equipment out of convenience. Dan Wallach, a Rice University computer science professor who has done extensive research on voting machines, said that vendors sell what local officials want to buy. 


“The vendors appear not to have the self-awareness that it might be a bad thing for our democracy to sell inadequately secure equipment,” Wallach told POLITICO


Krebs said that his priorities are improving risk management strategies across the federal government and working to “increase a defense posture across the civilian government agencies.” Whatever goals he and the department sets, they can only be achieved through better collaboration across federal, state and local governments and partnerships with industry and academic leaders, he said. 


“Whatever we do has to be done together, and in cybersecurity, that is the only way we’re going to get it done,” Krebs said. “It has to be a collective defense approach.”

Featured

  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation.

    Connect ONE®

    Connect ONE’s powerful cloud-hosted management platform provides the means to tailor lockdowns and emergency mass notifications throughout a facility – while simultaneously alerting occupants to hazards or next steps, like evacuation. 3

  • Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden Door Controls has relaunched its CV-7600 card readers in response to growing market demand for a more secure alternative to standard proximity credentials that can be easily cloned. CV-7600 readers support MIFARE DESFire EV1 & EV2 encryption technology credentials, making them virtually clone-proof and highly secure. 3