US Counterintelligence Director & Fmr. Europol Leader Talk Election Security

US Counterintelligence Director & Fmr. Europol Leader Talk Election Security
The US counterintelligence lead joins a former Europol cyber chief to discuss modern election threats and the benefits of public-private collaboration.

Nations worldwide have faced the challenge of maintaining trustworthy elections in the face of evolving cyberthreats. As the United States rapidly approaches its 2020 presidential election, officials are concerned about how to best protect the democratic process from cyberthreats.

William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) for the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, joined former Europol Cyber Chief Sir Robert Wainwright and CrowdStrike chief security officer Sean Henry for a discussion at this week's Fal.Con 2020 conference. The three talked about top threats to election security around the world and how public and private sectors should collaborate.

"A big part of global election misinformation is hack and leak operations, as well as disruption of the electoral system, which puts into question the trustworthiness of the election infrastructure," said Henry, who previously served as the executive assistant director for the FBI's Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. "Will my vote count? Will your vote count? Can we be sure the election is secure and valid?"

For Evanina, the threat of disinformation and influence operations is top of mind. While this is "nothing new" for Russian threat actors, he said, it has grown into a massive problem for the US. Over the past year, adversaries have taken US modern events — protests, rioting, and COVID-19, among others — and accentuated and amplified them on social media, he explained.

"I would proffer the public and the democratic nations around the world really don't understand what disinformation and influence looks like and feels like when you see ..