LaRose confident state will be ready for election season cyber-attacks

U.S. & World

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Secretary of State Frank LaRose is hopeful that the board of elections in all 88 Ohio counties will have adopted and implemented the directives he ordered they complete, to protect against a potential cyber attack in the upcoming presidential primary and general elections.

Last year, LaRose issued the 34 items that he wanted addressed.

“I said, ‘you’ve got to complete these 34 items – you have to be done by the end of January,'” he explained. “We are within two weeks of the end of January. We’re in the final stages of implementing all 34 of those points.”

LaRose’s comments came at the winter meeting of the Ohio Association of Elections Officials.

At the meeting, Franklin County Board of Elections Director Edward Leonard said his county his almost finished meeting the requirements.

“Franklin County will be ready and the voters can go to the polls knowing that their vote is secure,” Leonard said, of the March primary.

One of LaRose’s directives calls for the installation of what is called an Albert Intrusion Detection Device. The sensor monitors network traffic and not only identify attackers, but provides notifications that a possible attack is happening.​

LaRose said every county has received their devices and installation is, or will be, underway.

Ohio’s efforts to combat cyber attacks has gained international attention. In the weeks ahead, LaRose will discuss the state’s efforts at a tech conference, in Tel Aviv.

“Israel has gotten very good at cyber and the fact that they want to hear what Ohio’s doing says something Ohioans should take to heart,” he said. That should give Ohioans confidence that they should cast their ballot, they should be involved, and they will have an election night that their voice was heard and their ballot was accurately counted.”

The presidential primary is March 17. The deadline to register to vote, in the primary, is February 18.

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