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Dec. 7, 2018
CSG Issues Guide on Election Cybersecurity Communication and Coordination
COVINGTON, Ky.—The Council of State Governments announced its CSG Election Cybersecurity Initiative Guide during a session at the CSG 2018 National Conference on Dec. 7, 2018, in Covington, Kentucky.
The guide addresses the unique challenges of intrastate communication and coordination surrounding election cybersecurity incidents and offers best practice recommendations for consideration by the vast array of stakeholders to this issue. 
“We are pleased to share this CSG Election Cybersecurity Initiative Guide with our CSG membership representing all areas of state government, the election community, and all interested parties,” said Elizabeth Whitehouse, director of the CSG Center of Innovation. “We look forward to assisting states in assessing and implementing our recommendations in a way that best suits each state’s unique landscape with regard to election cybersecurity communications.”
This guide represents the culmination of CSG’s year-long work in election cybersecurity communication and coordination, which was funded by theDemocracy Fund. It consists of feedback from CSG’s interviews with more than 60 state and local government officials across eight states, including secretaries of state, state election directors, local election officials, state legislators, state chief information officers, or CIOs, state chief information technology officers, or CTOs, state chief information security officers, or CISOs, and many others. 
“The materials used by CSG during these intrastate conversations relied heavily on content from the Election Cyber Incident Communications Plan Template for State and Local Officials published by the Defending Digital Democracy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,” Whitehouse said. “We applaud their work and the efforts of so many organizations who’ve built upon this work, including our CSG Election Cybersecurity Initiative Advisory Group members.”
The observations and lessons learned from these sessions have been analyzed and distilled into this guide so that any state can use this material to help map their intrastate communications to be optimally prepared in the event of an election cybersecurity breach.
“Cybersecurity threats to democracy are constantly evolving,” said Lindsay Daniels, associate director of elections at the Democracy Fund. “For this reason, equipping offices and officials throughout government is simply smart policy. Thanks to the work of CSG and the eight states that partnered with them, state officials have a window into what works and what can be improved as intrastate officials communicate with one another in the event of a threat or crisis.”  
The CSG Election Cybersecurity Initiative Guide can be found here.
About The Council of State Governments
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.
For more information about The Council of State Governments, visit csg.org.