CISA expands efforts to fight election disinformation ahead of 'challenging' 2024 vote

CISA expands efforts to fight election disinformation ahead of 'challenging' 2024 vote
Written by Aug 12, 2022 | CYBERSCOOP

Disinformation has become a much bigger challenge for election officials since the 2020 election, leading the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency to beef up its efforts to fight falsehoods that could undermine the democratic process.

The danger of disinformation has become an “incredibly difficult problem,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said Friday during a press briefing at the DEF CON cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas.

Easterly has taken several specific steps to fight the problem, including by bringing Kim Wyman, former Secretary of State of Washington, into CISA to bolster its election work. Noting that Wyman is a Republican, Easterly said she has deliberately recruited people from both parties to work on CISA’s election efforts.

“We recognize this is not a partisan issue,” Easterly said, adding that she worked for former President George W. Bush earlier in her career. “Where I fear that the system will break down in a spectacular way is if CISA all of a sudden becomes a partisan agency.”

The threat landscape has evolved considerably since President Biden defeated former President Trump in 2020, she said. Coming out of the 2016 and 2018 elections, DHS and CISA officials were mostly concerned with cybersecurity issues. That’s changed, she said.

“Now the threat landscape is far more complicated,” Easterly said. “We’re still concerned about the cybersecurity side, of course, but we are [also] concerned about insider threats … and we are focused on threats of
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