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Former Secretary of the Navy calls for threat sharing in elections

Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who served under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, told Axios that government threat intelligence sharing during elections must improve or voters "won't have confidence that voting has not been tainted."

Why it matters: The Department of Homeland Security will, for the first time, share classified information with officials about cybersecurity threats during elections during the 2018 midterms, but there will still be kinks to work out. "You get silos of information in the government that are tough to break," noted Mabus.

  • Elections were only declared critical infrastructure by DHS in 2016. They do not yet have the distinct peer-to-peer cybersecurity information sharing structure endorsed by DHS, known as an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC).
  • Perhaps not coincidentally, Mabus also announced Wednesday he was joining the board of Anomali, which makes threat intelligence sharing software used by ISACs.
  • His comments might signal an industry push to shore up the ISAC deficiency surrounding elections.

More quotes from Mabus: "We're headed into an election where every intelligence agency warns that Russia will try to effect the elections again."

  • "The time to address challenges is not to wait until crisis."
  • "[Even in the Navy] we knew that [defending against cyberwarfare] was not something we could do by ourselves. We collaborated with other countries' navies, and created threat sharing partnerships."
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