COVID-19’s prolonged attacks on modern infrastructure are not finished yet. Among health care, logistics, state governance systems – and perhaps our collective wills – there is another rampart on Castle America as yet untested by the virus, but vulnerable still. That rampart is November’s presidential elections.
The risk of spreading coronavirus is pushing state and local governments to remote voting options that may jeopardize the security of America’s democratic process. The recent spike of COVID-19 infections across the country suggests that November’s elections, now less than 150 days away, will not be exempt from social distancing and quarantine. States are contemplating an expansion of mail-in and online voting as Georgia’s chaotic primary earlier this month underscores the impacts the pandemic is having on local preparedness. While the risks of online voting are well-documented, mail-in ballots have historically suited the elderly, infirm, and deployed military – not hundreds of millions of Americans fearful of getting sick. Regardless of whether states pursue the online or mail-in option, many have not upgraded their election security since the 2016 bruising by Russian hackers. Intelligence suggests such attacks will repeat this year, with some potentially already underway. How Americans vote this year is uncertain, and the voting system remains vulnerable.
Praescient Analytics is uniquely suited to help state, local, and federal government agencies tackle this immediate domestic security issue. With up to millions of voter registrations and ballots from a variety of states, counties, and districts come heaps of unstructured data a malign actor could exploit. Praescient’s project teams deliver both the technical talent to assess cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and the analytic experience to tailor workflows that reliably detect threats. Praescient also offers machine learning platforms that enable advanced risk monitoring. As local governments lean into potentially vulnerable third-party vendors for their big data requirements, monitoring risk is the type of challenge our experts are ready to meet.