Election Officials Detail How to Improve Voting System Security

Today’s topics include election officials discussing efforts to bolster voting system security, and Cisco bringing SD-WAN to 1 million edge routers.

A panel of election officials from across the country spoke at the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas on Aug. 10 to discuss voting system security and detail steps to make things better.

Alex Padilla, secretary of state for California, said election system security is critical because voters need to have confidence in their democracy and know that their votes matter. He claims cyber-security attacks against voting systems are essentially a form of voter suppression, as they undermine the integrity of election system confidence in the vote tallies.

According to Padilla, improving election cyber-security isn't just about improving equipment and identifying technical vulnerabilities. It's also about professional development and training, as well as countering disinformation.

He added that there is a need for more federal resources to help state and local officials improve election cyber-security.

Cisco Systems is bringing software-defined WAN capabilities to more than 1 million edge routers. The company announced last week its new IOS XE software, which upgrades its ISR and ASR routers without customers having to take on new hardware.

According to Anand Oswal, senior vice president of engineering at Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group, “Shortly after acquiring Viptela in 2017, we made the Viptela SD-WAN solution available to all our customers and partners. The release of Cisco IOS XE provides an instant upgrade path for creating cloud-controlled SD-WAN Fabrics to connect distributed offices, people, devices, and applications operating on the installed base.”

SD-WAN alleviates performance and bandwidth issues at branch locations, and enables the use and consistent performance of multiple transport methods of traffic. It also improves security and lowers costs, and businesses can provision and manage edge routers through the cloud.