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Updated Jun 20, 2024, 2:49pm EDT
politicsNorth America

2024 election will be ‘most complex threat landscape’ ever: CISA official

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The News

The 2024 Presidential elections will be the most secure in United States’ history, a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency official said Tuesday — but it will also offer the “most complex threat landscape” the agency has encountered yet.

“We’re certainly not taking our eye off the ball,” CISA Senior Adviser Cait Conley said at a Semafor cybersecurity event on Tuesday.

“While we are confident, we are not complacent, and we will continue to work with election officials and the vendors to push the envelope on security.”

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Generative AI will likely not introduce new kinds of cybersecurity threats to elections, Conley predicted, but it will exacerbate existing risks and lower the barrier to entry — bringing more bad actors to the table.

“You don’t need to know how to code anymore to leverage malware,” she said.

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The View From

By Chris Novak, Sr. Director of Verizon Cyber Security Consulting, Verizon Business

As the 2024 election year approaches, cybersecurity attacks present a unique and specific risk due to disinformation and breach attempts. Threat actors have tried to compromise the electoral process, and they will continue to do so.

While Generative AI is being incorporated across enterprises, we’ve seen these threat actors use GenAI to create “deepfake” messages purportedly from a political candidate, attempting to misinform the public and spark conflict with false rhetoric. These threat actors can also use GenAI for monetary gain, pretending to be a political candidate and targeting vulnerable individuals for “donations.”

Threat actors exploit the fact that election systems vary from state to state, each with potential cyber vulnerabilities. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for protecting these systems, each state must develop its own protection strategies.

The good news is work is already being done to help defend against these threats and maintain the integrity of elections. Governments are learning from and working with the private sector while making a greater effort to educate individuals about disinformation attempts.

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