Cybersecurity and the National Census

The 2020 elections will soon be here and so will the 2020 Census. While the election is important, so is the secure and accurate head count of our nation. Congress recently convened a hearing about the upcoming event, but while those invited to speak before the committee, including Nick Marinos, director of cybersecurity and information technology at the Government Accountability Office, noted many of the cyber vulnerabilities to the accounting process, lawmakers seemed to have little concern.

Concern should be shown for the issue because the PII from all of our citizens will be gathered in one ‘basket’ and will be at risk should those with evil intent gain access to it. Aside from potential damage to citizens, there is also the concern that should hackers manipulate the data, many government functions, including the distribution of government funds and the redrawing of congressional districts would be jeopardized.

Elections are important, but so is the security of the information gathered by the national census. Lawmakers should take heed of the warnings given by guest speakers and address the issue instead of neglecting it and hoping for the best.

About the Author - Dr. Jane LeClair is the President of the Washington Center for Cybersecurity Research & Development.

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