After the major email security and hacking controversies that influenced the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the WatchGuard Threat Lab expects to see two major government information security developments in the U.S. in 2020. First, state-sponsored actors will cause confusion and mistrust in the 2020 election by targeting voter registration systems and making it more difficult for legitimate voters to cast a ballot. Second, the passing of the California Consumer Privacy Act will prompt several other states to pass similar privacy regulations. WatchGuard’s Sr. Security Analyst Marc Laliberte recently wrote a guest article for Help Net Security explaining these two developments in more detail.
While it is absolutely possible to hack voting machines themselves, accessing enough of them to change enough votes to influence a U.S. election is almost impossible logistically. Tampering with voter registration databases is significantly easier, and has the potential to cause high levels of fear, uncertainty and doubt in the election process. To counteract this, state and local government departments will need to perform security audits and fix vulnerabilities in their database systems, and individual voters should check their registration status in advance of any election and bring printed ID with them when they go to vote.
While privacy regulations like GDPR in Europe are quite popular among the public, federal privacy laws in the U.S. have repeatedly failed to pass. In 2020, the WatchGuard Threat Lab expects states to pick up the slack and pass individual privacy regulations modeled on California’s CCPA. Here’s an excerpt from Marc’s article explaining what this groundswell of regulation will mean for businesses and citizens in these states.
This momentum will grow in 2020, so it will be critical for businesses across the country to carefully study the CCPA requirements and prepare to make adjustments. Other states will use the CCPA as a reference point for developing similar regulations of their own. If you’re concerned with your own personal data privacy, contact your local representatives to push for state-level legislation and federal action as well.