On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated elections as critical infrastructure. Although individual state and local jurisdictions conduct elections, protecting election infrastructure is a national responsibility shared between federal, state, and local governments and their private sector partners. In addition to being a whole-of-government and cross-sector responsibility, election security involves multiple aspects of homeland security. These include cybersecurity, physical security, supply chain security, and emergency communications—all areas in which LGI possesses significant expertise.
The dynamic combination of subject-matter experts, management consultants, design specialists, and researchers has enabled LGI to become an integral partner in assisting federal clients with their election security efforts. LGI's contribution to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) election security mission began with stakeholder engagement and outreach, specifically to state and local election authorities. We have broadened CISA’s engagement and outreach efforts to include election industry partners and political campaigns. LGI's contribution is also expanding into additional election security priorities for CISA, including strategic planning and training and exercises.
Stakeholder Engagement & Outreach
LGI supports CISA in communicating election security priorities, guidance, and resources to state and local election authorities as well as their private sector partners. U.S. election infrastructure is both decentralized and highly interconnected, meaning its security is only as strong as its weakest link. Stakeholder engagement and outreach is therefore a crucial first step toward enhancing the security posture of the election community.
State & Local Plans and Products
LGI collaborates with state and local election authorities to create and distribute customized documents that stakeholders use to communicate CISA’s priorities, guidance, and resources to their employees, partners, and constituents. These products serve as tools that state and local election authorities can use to bolster confidence in and drive progress toward enhancing election security.
Industry Plans & Products
The elections industry—primarily, election technology providers and their business partners—establish the technological foundation of American democracy and are therefore essential for ensuring election security. LGI collaborates with election technology providers to develop products that communicate CISA’s priorities, guidance, and resources to their employees, partners, and customers.
Securing political campaigns and other partisan organizations against cyberattacks is a key election security priority for CISA. Lafayette Group helps CISA engage these entities and develop products that provide them with guidance for managing specific risks.
Training & Exercises
LGI election security subject-matter experts, with support from the rest of our team, supplement CISA’s efforts to build capacity among election personnel of state and local election authorities through trainings and exercises. LGI develops and supports delivery of trainings that provide guidance on preparedness and risk mitigation, as well as direct-to-customer just-in-time training on emerging threats.
CISA Election Security Initiative
LGI works with CISA's Election Security Initiative (ESI) to create national strategies along with products and services that will enhance awareness and adoption of election security best practices and resources across the election community. We delivered tailored cybersecurity planning products to more than 1,000 local jurisdictions during the 2018 election cycle, helping ESI significantly expand its relationships and awareness of CISA cybersecurity services beyond the federal and state levels. In 2020, we engaged with more than 4,000 additional jurisdictions and delivered an expanded set of products and services, including plans, trainings, exercise support, and operational tools to promote and enhance election security among state and local jurisdictions, vendors, political campaigns, and other public and private entities that make up the election critical infrastructure community. To date, our products are used by more than 5,000 election officials in 27 states.