Both private vendors and the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University do the heavy-lifting when it comes to routinely testing and scanning the state’s systems from cyber threats. This year, they ran multiple “full-scale” penetration tests and vulnerability scans of all systems, including of the statewide voter registration database, in preparation of the election.
No. 2 — Monitor traffic
The state also contracts with a security vendor to continuously monitor all network traffic. The idea, in layman’s terms, is to block and report real-time threats.
No. 3 — Have backup
The office ran two security assessments last year, looking at physical security of the system, its infrastructure and back-up procedures. Crisis management plans spell out what recovery methods to use. Redundancies are also built into the system.
No. 4 — Have more backup
A backup of the statewide voter registration system is updated every few seconds. The back-up is stored at a secure, off-site location and in the event of a full database crash, officials believe it would be back up and running at full capacity in as little as 30 minutes.
No. 5 — Keep it separate
On Election Night, counts coming in from the state's 159 counties are kept completely isolated from the public website where we all go to see who's winning. That separation aims to protect the integrity of the vote tallies. The servers being used by the counties are also not connected to the main network for security reasons. Once the counts are uploaded, they are then separately fed into the Election Night Reporting website to show votes cast across the state.