DES MOINES — Secretary of State Paul Pate is asking Iowa county auditors to do a “walk-through” of their systems to make sure they are secure ahead of the 2020 elections.
Pate is telling auditors that his office will provide $1 million to assist them with cybersecurity resources ahead of the elections.
“It’s like we are asking them to walk through their house to see if any windows or doors have been left open,” Pate said Thursday before meeting with the auditors who were in Des Moines.
During the next few weeks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the state Office of the Chief Information Officer will conduct scans of all 99 counties’ websites and internal systems to look for vulnerabilities.
That could be outdated equipment and software, for example, said Jeff Franklin, Pate’s chief cybersecurity officer.
Solutions may include replacing equipment and software, and separating critical infrastructure from non-critical systems, he said.
Following the scans, the Secretary of State’s Office will make an initial investment of $1 million to help cover the expenses of recommended upgrades.
Almost every county already receives at least three cyber services from the Office of the Chief Information Officer, including training, intrusion detection and malware prevention, “to monitor for the bad guys,” Pate said.