Secretary of State to Hold Election Cybersecurity Training Event

Idaho State SealFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: January 3, 2019
Contact: Kristie Winslow, Communications Coordinator
Phone: (208) 332-2818

Boise, Idaho – County election officials from throughout Idaho are coming to Boise next week to attend a cybersecurity training exercise hosted by Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney.

The exercise, which has been organized in collaboration with the Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Boise State University’s Department of Computer Science, is designed to assist election staff in preparing for cyber incidents by simulating scenarios that could impact Idaho’s elections.

“Idaho has several security measures in place to help protect the integrity of our elections,” Secretary Denney said. “This exercise is an opportunity to test our response plan and share best practices with the counties to enhance our preparedness.”

More than 120 election officials and staff representing almost every county in Idaho will be participating at the event. Nearly 70 people will be helping as facilitators including more than 35 Boise State Computer Science graduate and undergraduate students. In addition, representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Idaho Office of Emergency Management, Idaho Office of Information Technology Services, the National Association of Secretaries of State Election Directors will also be attending.

This exercise will feature two, hour-long simulations where participants will be confronted with a series of worst-case scenarios ranging from hacks and social media misinformation to manipulation of voter information aimed at sowing voter distrust. Following the exercise, Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck will moderate a Q&A panel featuring election and security professionals.

*Media access will be restricted to open sessions only. Media wishing to attend must receive credentials in advance. Please e-mail Kristie Winslow at [email protected] to request access and an agenda listing open session times. Participants will be available for interviews during scheduled break times.

WHO:
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney
Amy Cohen, Executive Director, National Association of State Election Directors
Dr. Hoda Mehrpouyan, Associate Director, Cyber Lab for Industrial Control Systems and Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science at Boise State University
Eric Puype, Esq., CPP, Protective Security Advisor, Region X at Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, US Department of Homeland Security
Brigadier General William B. Richy, Director of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management
Lance Wyatt, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Office of Information Technology Services, State of Idaho

WHEN:
Wednesday, January 9 at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE:
The Riverside Hotel
2900 Chinden Boulevard
Boise, ID 83714

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ABOUT LAWERENCE DENNEY

Lawerence Denney has served the people of Idaho since 1990. His public service began as a representative in District 13 and, following redistricting, he became a representative in District 9 until 2014. During that time, Denney served two terms as Majority Leader and three terms as Speaker of the House before successfully running for state office. He is currently in the first year of his second term as Idaho’s Secretary of State.