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Data Security and Presidential Campaigns (PART II)

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016 14:05

By: Arthur M. Freyre

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The 2016 Presidential Election may have inadvertently made data protection a campaign issue. Last month’s release of DNC emails by WikiLeaks not only caused embarrassment, but also the resignation of the DNC chair. The entire ordeal could have been prevented or controlled had the DNC paid attention to the warnings issued long before the breach. Last November, the Online Trust Alliance released a report on assessing the safety of presidential campaigns. The report, which focused on site security, consumer protection, and privacy, gave many campaigns failing grades for their lack of implementing a data privacy policy. Many additional warnings from computer security consultants hired by the DNC were issued last fall after a two-month review was conducted. The results found several flaws from out-of-date firewalls to a lack of advanced malware detection technology on computers.

The resulting damages have finally caused campaign leaders to directly address the devastating affects of data breaches and how important it is to be proactive. Ms. Donna Brazile, the interim DNC Chair has announced the formation of a Cybersecurity Advisory Board. The board’s goal is to review cybersecurity policies and ensure that data leaks do not happen again.

The announcement of the newly created board, however has met criticism at the seemingly weak attempt at legitimate prevention. Experts in the field were quick to point out a major flaw – Out of four members that make up the DNC board, none of them have a technical background in cybersecurity. One critic of the under qualified panel, Senior Legislative Manager at the DC-based internet policy group Access Now voiced his concern in an article by Vocativ. “Washington D.C. has a history of omitting technologists from conversations about cybersecurity. The threats to cybersecurity continue to grow. It is imperative to have technology experts who understand the reach and ramifications of tools and decisions in the room when policies are being decided upon,” he states.

Although the policies and actions the DNC Advisory Board may implement are unknown, the lack of software and technology experts or experienced cybersecurity professionals is a concerning indication of its’ potential. The issue of cybersecurity is a fluid situation and requires the ability to fully comprehend the evolution of technology and new developments, whether it is a new virus or different breach attempts by bad actors. The lack of experience and background in the implementation of technology, as well as dedication to proactively securing personal data, can create an unrealistic expectation in successfully protecting your company’s information. 

At PobleteTamargo we recognize the importance of creating policies that will complement the products you will use to protect your client’s information. For more information on types of prevention and preparation for potential breaches see our Privacy, Data Protection & Security page. 

 

Read more from Part I of Data Security and Presidential Campaigns Here.

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