University of West Florida offers training to strengthen election security efforts
The University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity, which began training state information technology personnel in March, is continuing its training into the 2018 midterm elections for employees in the Florida Department of State, county election supervisors and IT staff.
The center, which uses a combination of its “Cybersecurity for All” multi-course curriculum and hands-on training at the Florida Cyber Range to instruct government employees, has offered at least three training sessions so far to staff at the state’s Agency for State Technology and its Department of State, with the most recent course ending in June.
Election security is a hot topic ahead of November, especially in Florida, which was identified last year as one of 21 states with IT systems that were probed by Russian hackers in 2016. Officials say the training sessions with the university are critical in spreading knowledge, catering to IT staff and county supervisors of varying skill levels within the field of cybersecurity.
“We’ve seen a massive increase in cybersecurity awareness among election officials across the country, along with efforts to increase preparedness and resiliency,” said David Stafford, co-chair of the National Association of Election Officials and Escambia County Supervisor of Elections, in a statement. “UWF’s Center for Cybersecurity was uniquely positioned to work with state and local election officials to design a curriculum and roll out the training, and the content and delivery of the training were outstanding.”