Protecting U.S. Election Infrastructure from Cyberattacks: Local Perspectives on a National Security Priority

Thu., December 07, 2017 | 12:00 PM — 1:30 PM

International House at the University of Chicago
1414 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

In the wake of the Russian cyberattacks carried out during the 2016 Presidential Election, DEFCON – the largest, longest running hacker conference in the world – hosted a “Voting Machine Hacking Village” at their annual conference in Vegas in July. Over 25 pieces of voting equipment, currently in use in U.S. elections, were brought to the demonstration to allow hackers an opportunity to engage, experiment, and identify vulnerabilities in the equipment in hopes of building the basis of knowledge. 

With awareness around the threat growing, it’s now time to act.  As part of the solution, leaders are coming together to develop best practices that can be funded by Congress and implemented by federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security. Yet, while federal leaders charged with safeguarding our national security will be at the helm, at its core, election security is a local issue. Understanding the needs and gaps at the state and local level – where Russians actually aimed their attacks in 2016 – will be critical. 

In this panel sponsored by the University of Chicago, national security leaders including Doug Lute, Frank Taylor and Sherri Ramsay will discuss the geopolitics of the cybersecurity threats facing our democracy. At the same time, local leaders will share their on-the-ground experience with cybersecurity, defining where clerks need support. In the spirit of the holiday season the panel will ask, “When it comes to elections and cybersecurity, what is the on the state and local election administrators’ wish list?”

Light lunch generously provided by Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) at Harris Public Policy.

Please RSVP here by Tuesday, December 5, 2017. 


Doug Lute, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

Frank Taylor, former Assistant Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Sherri Ramsay, former Director, NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center, National Security Agency

Jake Braun, University of Chicago and DEFCON Voting Village Organizer (Moderator)


Questions? Contact Harris Events.