Mar 27, 2018

Tom Ridge: Election security is not the only security

Illustration: Axios Visuals

This story is from Codebook, the new Axios cybersecurity newsletter that launched today. Sign up here.

Election security is sucking up all the oxygen in policy conversations these days. Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, worries Congress is letting other aspects of cybersecurity slip through the cracks.

Quoted: “No one thinks democracy is as important as Tom Ridge,” he said, “but our economic security is at stake.“

“We should be as obsessed with cybersecurity as we are with elections,” said Ridge, also a former Pennsylvania Governor and a recent add to the board of alliantgroup, which helps find tax rebates for cybersecurity firms.

  • Ridge worries that broad cybersecurity threats to businesses and critical infrastructure are being thrust to the wayside while lawmakers focus most of their attention on election security.
  • He believes lawmakers will need to focus on more than one aspect of cybersecurity at a time, which has so far been a difficult ask.
  • To wit: A few years ago, automotive hacking was the hip topic for legislation, but faded into the background when election hacking stole most of the attention. Election hacking even swallowed up the next major breach as well, even though Equifax's massive scope seemed tailor-made to spur legislation.

Homeland has no real home: Jurisdictional problems make legislation even more difficult, said Ridge. Despite having a committee called the Homeland Security Committee, every committee maintains an interest in the security of whatever it is it discusses. “Government wasn’t designed to regulate security,” he said. “I spent more time on The Hill talking to committees than Donald Rumsfeld, and the DOD had two wars going on.”

Go deeper

Alaska becomes latest state to issue coronavirus stay-at-home order

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alaska issued a mandate Friday evening for all people in the state to "remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing" except for those engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions, effective Saturday at 5 p.m.

The big picture: This is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide were asked to stay home Monday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 24 mins ago - Health

Focus group: Minnesota swing voters balk at Trump's Easter deadline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter, saying they'll tolerate business closures for as long as it takes to contain the spread.

Why it matters: Their feedback suggests that some voters otherwise mostly supportive of the president — and who still see financial threats outpacing health threats — aren't so tired of social distancing that they're willing to risk ending it too quickly.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 607,965 — Total deaths: 28,125 — Total recoveries: 132,688.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: North Carolina is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.