Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is also the President of the National Association of Secretaries of State. In both roles, cybersecurity is his top priority, and he has testified before Congress on the importance of assuring election security. The Democrat was in Boston last week as the keynote speaker at a conference titled “Building a New Cyber Security Paradigm.” Secretary Condos tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that Vermont began securing all its computer systems in 2013 and the state is considered a leader in cybersecurity.
“I now eat, sleep and breathe cybersecurity. I have a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about firewalls, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. It’s a new normal since that August 2016 conference call with then Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and all the Secretaries of State on the phone notifying us that the Russian cyber-agents were attacking our election systems. But it’s not just that. I mean we’re seeing things like ransomware attacking municipalities. The cyber bad actors are adjusting the way they operate and the good news is that Secretaries of State around the country are doing the work that’s necessary to protect our election systems. And then the other piece of that good news is what used to be just an IT problem is now a priority.”
You can hear an extended conversation with Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos on election cybersecurity on the latest WAMC News Podcast.