New cybersecurity system helping to protect Florida elections from hackers

Posted at 6:43 AM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 09:57:46-05

If you voted early or plan to vote on Election Day, it is likely you won’t notice it, but all Florida counties are using a new cybersecurity detection system to help keep your vote safe.

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In May, Gov. Rick Scott announced $1.9 million in funding to provide grants to Supervisors of Elections for the purchase of a network monitoring security solution, called ALBERT.

ALBERT will provide automated alerts about system threats that will allow counties to respond quickly when data may be at risk. 

The Associated Press reports the Department of Homeland Security is paying for the system that every Florida county is using.

ALBERT sensors help block any attacks and identify who is behind them. The only flaw is the system can only detect threats it knows to look for, so an unknown threat could still pose a danger.

"If there's something that looks fishy the system tells us that it's fishy, we look at it, investigate and drill down into those packets of information that are attempting to do whatever they're attempting to do and then, we attack it at that point to make sure it's not malicious," said Broward County Elections Information Technology Director George Nunez. 

“We have a daily checking of our firewalls and of the attempts on the ALBERT server. And our IT director is able to identify by name or origin those groups or individuals who are trying to penetrate the system,” said Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of elections in Broward County.