Author: Homeland Security

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Former HPD assistant chief named city's homeland security director …

  • George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

  • Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

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Image 1 of 3 | George Buenik

George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

Image 2 of 3 | George Buenik

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

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Former HPD assistant chief named city’s homeland security director

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A former high-ranking Houston Police Department veteran will lead the mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, overseeing emergency management and coordinating among the agencies for high-profile events such as hurricanes and Super Bowls, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday.

George T. Buenik, 58, takes over for the retiring director Dennis Storemski, who has held the position since 2005.

“Houston needs someone with strong leadership skills and extensive experience in emergency preparedness and crisis management to lead the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, especially after Hurricane Harvey and other major events in the city,” Turner said. “I am confident George Buenik has the strategic vision to take charge before, during and after the next crisis.”

Buenik spent 34 years with the Houston Police Department and last year served as the chairman of the 2017 Houston Super Bowl Public Safety Committee. He left HPD last year in a wave of retirements.

“My number one priority will be to keep this city safe and secure,” Buenik said. “I will work closely with Mayor Turner and other city directors to ensure we are properly prepared to respond to and mitigate all disasters and major emergencies.”

In his new role, Buenik said he wants to ensure the city has adequate plans to deal with active shooters and the proper preparation for major disasters.

“Nationally right now, there’s a lot of media coverage on active shooters, and so I think police agencies and cities around the country have to come up with a plan to combat active shooters,” he said. “You react as you’re trained.”

Buenik’s new responsibilities will include overseeing the Office of Emergency Management, Houston’s Emergency Communications Center, the city’s homeland security activities and Houston Crackdown, a city program that coordinates volunteer projects in the areas of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.

Former colleagues praised Buenik’s years of leadership at HPD and his experience planning homeland security preparations for large-scale events like the Final Four, the Chevron Houston Marathon or last year’s Super Bowl LI.

“He is a strategic and critical thinker and he was one of the best emergency planners in the Houston Police Department, especially when it comes to large-scale events,” said former Chief Charles A. McClelland.

Houston Police Officers Union President Joseph Gamaldi praised the choice.

“Everyone’s been generally supportive,” Gamaldi said. “We think he’ll do a good job in that position.”

Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Buenik’s experience with other city agencies would be an asset in his new job, where he will need to network, coordinate public safety needs and focus on planning, preparation, mitigation and response to emergencies.

“He understand’s the city’s needs,” Peña said.

Before retiring from HPD in 2017, Buenik rose to the level of executive assistant chief, overseeing homeland security, criminal intelligence, the joint terrorism task force, dignitary executive protection and other responsibilities.

He replaces Storemski, who served 38 years as a Houston police officer before taking over the homeland security post in 2005. Turner said the outgoing director had a “tremendous impact” on Houston.

For his part, Storemski said he had been blessed to work in HPD and then in the post in the mayor’s office.

“How many people can say that they spent a long career being paid for something you love doing? I can,” he told City Council when he announced last month that he was retiring. “How many people can say they spent their entire career and have no regrets?”

St. John Barned-Smith[1] covers public safety and major breaking news for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter[2] and Facebook[3]. Send tips to [email protected][4].

References

  1. ^ St. John Barned-Smith (www.houstonchronicle.com)
  2. ^ Twitter (www.twitter.com)
  3. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (www.chron.com)
0

Former HPD assistant chief named city's homeland security director …

  • George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

  • Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

Image 1of/3

Caption

Close

Image 1 of 3 | George Buenik

George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

Image 2 of 3 | George Buenik

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

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Former HPD assistant chief named city’s homeland security director

Back to Gallery

A former high-ranking Houston Police Department veteran will lead the mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, overseeing emergency management and coordinating among the agencies for high-profile events such as hurricanes and Super Bowls, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday.

George T. Buenik, 58, takes over for the retiring director Dennis Storemski, who has held the position since 2005.

“Houston needs someone with strong leadership skills and extensive experience in emergency preparedness and crisis management to lead the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, especially after Hurricane Harvey and other major events in the city,” Turner said. “I am confident George Buenik has the strategic vision to take charge before, during and after the next crisis.”

Buenik spent 34 years with the Houston Police Department and last year served as the chairman of the 2017 Houston Super Bowl Public Safety Committee. He left HPD last year in a wave of retirements.

“My number one priority will be to keep this city safe and secure,” Buenik said. “I will work closely with Mayor Turner and other city directors to ensure we are properly prepared to respond to and mitigate all disasters and major emergencies.”

In his new role, Buenik said he wants to ensure the city has adequate plans to deal with active shooters and the proper preparation for major disasters.

“Nationally right now, there’s a lot of media coverage on active shooters, and so I think police agencies and cities around the country have to come up with a plan to combat active shooters,” he said. “You react as you’re trained.”

Buenik’s new responsibilities will include overseeing the Office of Emergency Management, Houston’s Emergency Communications Center, the city’s homeland security activities and Houston Crackdown, a city program that coordinates volunteer projects in the areas of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.

Former colleagues praised Buenik’s years of leadership at HPD and his experience planning homeland security preparations for large-scale events like the Final Four, the Chevron Houston Marathon or last year’s Super Bowl LI.

“He is a strategic and critical thinker and he was one of the best emergency planners in the Houston Police Department, especially when it comes to large-scale events,” said former Chief Charles A. McClelland.

Houston Police Officers Union President Joseph Gamaldi praised the choice.

“Everyone’s been generally supportive,” Gamaldi said. “We think he’ll do a good job in that position.”

Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Buenik’s experience with other city agencies would be an asset in his new job, where he will need to network, coordinate public safety needs and focus on planning, preparation, mitigation and response to emergencies.

“He understand’s the city’s needs,” Peña said.

Before retiring from HPD in 2017, Buenik rose to the level of executive assistant chief, overseeing homeland security, criminal intelligence, the joint terrorism task force, dignitary executive protection and other responsibilities.

He replaces Storemski, who served 38 years as a Houston police officer before taking over the homeland security post in 2005. Turner said the outgoing director had a “tremendous impact” on Houston.

For his part, Storemski said he had been blessed to work in HPD and then in the post in the mayor’s office.

“How many people can say that they spent a long career being paid for something you love doing? I can,” he told City Council when he announced last month that he was retiring. “How many people can say they spent their entire career and have no regrets?”

St. John Barned-Smith[1] covers public safety and major breaking news for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter[2] and Facebook[3]. Send tips to [email protected][4].

References

  1. ^ St. John Barned-Smith (www.houstonchronicle.com)
  2. ^ Twitter (www.twitter.com)
  3. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (www.chron.com)
0

Former HPD assistant chief named city's homeland security director …

  • George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

  • Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

Image 1of/3

Caption

Close

Image 1 of 3 | George Buenik

George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

George T. Buenik is introduced as the new director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston. 

Image 2 of 3 | George Buenik

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner hugs George T. Buenik after introducing him as the new director of Public Safety and Homeland Security at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Houston.

Image 3 of 3

Former HPD assistant chief named city’s homeland security director

Back to Gallery

A former high-ranking Houston Police Department veteran will lead the mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, overseeing emergency management and coordinating among the agencies for high-profile events such as hurricanes and Super Bowls, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday.

George T. Buenik, 58, takes over for the retiring director Dennis Storemski, who has held the position since 2005.

“Houston needs someone with strong leadership skills and extensive experience in emergency preparedness and crisis management to lead the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, especially after Hurricane Harvey and other major events in the city,” Turner said. “I am confident George Buenik has the strategic vision to take charge before, during and after the next crisis.”

Buenik spent 34 years with the Houston Police Department and last year served as the chairman of the 2017 Houston Super Bowl Public Safety Committee. He left HPD last year in a wave of retirements.

“My number one priority will be to keep this city safe and secure,” Buenik said. “I will work closely with Mayor Turner and other city directors to ensure we are properly prepared to respond to and mitigate all disasters and major emergencies.”

In his new role, Buenik said he wants to ensure the city has adequate plans to deal with active shooters and the proper preparation for major disasters.

“Nationally right now, there’s a lot of media coverage on active shooters, and so I think police agencies and cities around the country have to come up with a plan to combat active shooters,” he said. “You react as you’re trained.”

Buenik’s new responsibilities will include overseeing the Office of Emergency Management, Houston’s Emergency Communications Center, the city’s homeland security activities and Houston Crackdown, a city program that coordinates volunteer projects in the areas of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.

Former colleagues praised Buenik’s years of leadership at HPD and his experience planning homeland security preparations for large-scale events like the Final Four, the Chevron Houston Marathon or last year’s Super Bowl LI.

“He is a strategic and critical thinker and he was one of the best emergency planners in the Houston Police Department, especially when it comes to large-scale events,” said former Chief Charles A. McClelland.

Houston Police Officers Union President Joseph Gamaldi praised the choice.

“Everyone’s been generally supportive,” Gamaldi said. “We think he’ll do a good job in that position.”

Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Buenik’s experience with other city agencies would be an asset in his new job, where he will need to network, coordinate public safety needs and focus on planning, preparation, mitigation and response to emergencies.

“He understand’s the city’s needs,” Peña said.

Before retiring from HPD in 2017, Buenik rose to the level of executive assistant chief, overseeing homeland security, criminal intelligence, the joint terrorism task force, dignitary executive protection and other responsibilities.

He replaces Storemski, who served 38 years as a Houston police officer before taking over the homeland security post in 2005. Turner said the outgoing director had a “tremendous impact” on Houston.

For his part, Storemski said he had been blessed to work in HPD and then in the post in the mayor’s office.

“How many people can say that they spent a long career being paid for something you love doing? I can,” he told City Council when he announced last month that he was retiring. “How many people can say they spent their entire career and have no regrets?”

St. John Barned-Smith[1] covers public safety and major breaking news for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter[2] and Facebook[3]. Send tips to [email protected][4].

References

  1. ^ St. John Barned-Smith (www.houstonchronicle.com)
  2. ^ Twitter (www.twitter.com)
  3. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (www.chron.com)
0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the department’s recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

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“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states who request it.

Moscow’s multi-pronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems. 

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems. 

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems. 

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems. 

0

Homeland Security chief touts effort on election cybersecurity

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenMcConnell: ‘Whoever gets to 60 wins’ on immigration Overnight Tech: Senators want probe of company selling fake Twitter followers | Google parent made over 0B in 2017 | House chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump poised to allow release of intel memo | GOP chair threatens to subpoena DHS over Kaspersky docs | Pompeo defends meeting Russian spy chief MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1] on Tuesday touted the department’s effort to engage with state and local officials on guarding U.S. voting infrastructure from cyber threats, stressing that public trust in vote counts “relies on secure election infrastructure.”

Nielsen issued the statement highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent meetings with state and local election officials, which included classified briefings from U.S. intelligence officials on cyber threats to U.S. voting infrastructure. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts — and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure,” Nielsen said Tuesday. “The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure.”

The meetings are part of Homeland Security’s new effort to engage with stakeholders on the security of U.S. voting infrastructure.

The department under the Obama administration designated voting data systems and other election infrastructure as “critical” following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, offering up federal assistance to states that request it.

Moscow’s multipronged interference effort has underscored fears of foreign threats to voter databases and other systems used to conduct elections after officials revealed that Russian hackers targeted digital systems in 21 states before the 2016 vote. 

Homeland Security has maintained that none of the systems were involved in vote tallying and that most of the targeting efforts were not successful. Officials continue to emphasize that there is no evidence any vote tallies were tampered with.

The meetings took place over several days late last week and involved representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and the National Association of State Election Directors, according to the department.

As part of the meetings, Homeland Security and officials with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the FBI gave state officials a classified briefing on foreign threats to U.S. election infrastructure. 

According to The New York Times[7], some state officials were disappointed by the classified briefing on Friday because it did not offer clear information about the Russia threat.  

Nielsen said she met privately with leaders of the NASS, which represents state secretaries across the country who serve as their states’ chief election officials. 

“I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services,” Nielsen said.

The critical infrastructure designation has at times been a source of tension between federal and state election officials. State officials have complained that they have not received timely threat information and face long waits for security clearances in order to receive classified briefings. 

Homeland Security officials have pledged that they are working to more quickly provide clearances to state officials and offer timely cybersecurity assistance to states that ask for it, such as rigorous risk and vulnerability assessments of their systems.