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Connecticut National Guard To Advise Towns On Election Cybersecurity

Alexander F. Yuan

The Connecticut Secretary of the State has partnered with the National Guard to help provide cybersecurity ahead of this year’s election.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says the National Guard has the trained personnel to advise all 169 towns in the state.

“Every town has to have the same security that we do at the state level, and that’s why we needed to have some partners who have that kind of capability that could go to every town. We don’t have that kind of a workforce.”

Captain David Pytlik with the Connecticut National Guard says the guard’s specially trained force can help towns keep their election infrastructure safe from foreign interference.

“We have got a bunch of cybersecurity experts that also work in civilian careers as well within the industry. So as part-time guardsmen they serve as cyber experts and they bring a lot of their industry experience to this domain.”

Federal government funds would pay for the guardsmen.

Investigations found that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 elections. And federal authorities say they have evidence of ongoing cyberattacks to compromise the 2020 elections from hostile foreign actors in several countries, including Russia, China and Iran.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.
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