Cyber-security a Key Issue in Upcoming Presidential Election

When asked what role cyber-security policy and regulation play in the upcoming presidential election, more than half said it would be a key issue.

cyber security and tripwire

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of information security professionals would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate who has a strong cyber-security policy, according to a Tripwire survey of 210 information security professionals.

When asked what role cyber-security policy and regulation play in the upcoming presidential election, more than half of respondents (54 percent) said it would be a key issue.

However, nearly a third (32 percent) of respondents acknowledged that while most candidates will discuss cyber-security, these discussions will be mainly rhetoric.

"It was surprising to see the level of skepticism in the information security community," Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy at Tripwire, told eWEEK. "A large percentage, though not a majority, felt that cyber- security policy would not be a key issue in the upcoming election, either because of complexity or simply interest."

Only 14 percent of respondents believe cyber- security will not be a key issue in the upcoming election.

Dwayne Melancon, chief technology officer at Tripwire, said a few lawmakers, such as Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, have been vocal about cyber- crime, consumer privacy, and other issues, but those examples are few and far between.

"If a candidate could talk about cyber- security in a way that resonates with the average voter, that would help," Melancon said. "However, without some incident like the massive disclosure of celebrity cell phone pictures, the average voter doesn’t pay a lot of attention to cyber- security."

Nearly four in 10 (39 percent) said they believe cyber- security will be one of the central issues of the campaign, but 15 percent said that while it will be a main issue, it won’t matter because the problem is to complex.

In addition, 68 percent said they would not vote for a president who is not strong on cyber- security, against 32 percent who said they would vote for a candidate who wasn’t strong on cyber- security.

"It is important that the next President understands the importance of cyber -security and brings on a team of experts in order to develop and implement a solid and comprehensive cyber- security plan for the nation," said Ken Westin, senior security analyst at Tripwire.

"I believe articulating the fact that 'cyber' is both borderless and critical to our nation's progress," he explained. "Given these parameters, our nation needs to emphasize collaboration with the rest of the world to better strengthen global cyber- security as well as shoring up individuals' rights to privacy. Getting the public to understand these two points will go a long way to both involve people in the process."