Ohio Secretary of State issues directive on election security

(WTVG) - Ohio's Secretary of State Frank LaRose is looking to increase security at all county boards of election in a move his office says will guard against cyber attacks and other threats ahead of the 2020 Presidential election.

Under the directive, all 88 counties in the state are required to request risk and vulnerability assessments from the Department of Homeland Security by July 19th.

In addition to those assessments, county boards will also need to take a number of other steps to increase security. Included on the list of security upgrades are:

  • Albert intrusion detection devices to provide security alerts if there is a network intrusion.

  • Assessment and annual training on cyber and physical security.

  • Criminal background checks of permanent board of elections employees and contractors who handle sensitive services.

  • Begin using an e-mail service that assists board with identifying whether an e-mail is from a legitimate source.

  • Implementation of a Security Information and Event Management Logging system which will serve as a "Black Box" within the county's computer system.

Three Ohio counties, including Wood County, have already begun implementing these new security measures after volunteering to serve as pilot counties and according to the Secretary of State's office they have "shown a keen ability to accomplish the necessary tasks and enhance their security posture as required."