Election officials across the US are inundated and confused by the plethora of free cyber-security offerings that the private sector has made available in the past months, a Department of Homeland Security official said last week.
According to a list compiled by CyberScoop, companies that have provided free tools and services to election officials include McAfee, Cylance, Cloudflare, Google’s Jigsaw, Synack, Akamai, Centrify, Microsoft, Valimail, Facebook, Symantec, Netscout, and 1Password. Free offerings ranged from DDOS protection to DNS records security, and from free antivirus offerings to domain spoofing services.
But while the actions of these companies were driven by a desire to help, a DHS official says these free offerings have managed to create confusion with some election officials.
“So what we’ve seen is a lot of the cyber-security companies and the IT companies offering free services, which I think is a great move forward,” said Christopher Krebs, Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate at the DHS, in an interview on the Cyberlaw Podcast, last week.
“One thing that I am seeing with a lot of these companies offering free services is that the election officials down range are being inundated and they can’t really kinda contextualize this service vs that service, [and] what does it get them,” he added.