Preparing for an election: How SHI helped 3 state governments get ready for voting season

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State agencies often come under criticism for relying on outdated or insecure technologies. But some are ready to change.

Recently, three U.S. states have taken action to ensure their voters have a voice in the 2020 election. Their tactics include using artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure votes are recorded accurately, updating aging infrastructure and providing reliable backup solutions, and strengthening their ability to defeat cyberattacks.

Each story is different, as are the election-related challenges. The one constant: SHI.

Here’s how SHI helped these state governments prepare for the 2020 election season.

1. State government adds intelligence and transparency to its voter database

If you’re voting by mail, how can you be certain that your vote is actually counted? One state government wanted to make sure there would be no doubts.

The state began looking for a way to add intelligence to its voter database. The solution needed to guarantee that sensitive and confidential voter information was secure and compliant with all regulations, yet also open enough to allow for data analysis.

The state turned to SHI for help finding an appropriate data masking solution. It needed one that would take full advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) and could be used by the public to see a range of information, from general county data to the users themselves.

This amount of detail would involve multiple levels of data masking. But that wasn’t a problem. SHI worked with the state government to sort through numerous vendors, find the best fit, and get it up and running.

With its new solution in place, the state can now confirm that every vote is accounted for and that its system is protected against tampering and cyberattacks, easing any voter concerns heading into the 2020 general election.

2. State government modernizes its infrastructure and backup environments

A state government desperately needed to refresh its infrastructure ahead of the 2020 election season. There were three main issues with its existing environment.

First, overall supportability. The state was running on aging hardware and an end-of-life hypervisor that was no longer supported by the manufacturers and needed to be replaced prior to the election cycle. Second, growth. The state was operating on systems that were completely maxed out on everything from storage capacity to memory utilization to CPU consumption. And third, data protection. The state was running an antiquated backup solution for all workloads, leaving it at significant risk.

Like many organizations, the state wanted to allow for future scalability, so it needed a solution that was cloud-enabled.

SHI worked with the state to completely overhaul its infrastructure, implementing an effective disaster recovery (DR) solution and providing further data protection to safeguard the state’s new election-related workloads.

With SHI’s help, the state now has the foundation it needs for this election and beyond. It no longer has to worry about outages, as systems and workloads can be quickly and easily restored remotely. The state also has long-term scalability for growth and the ability to integrate with hybrid cloud platforms at a later point.

By modernizing its infrastructure and backups, the state can now feel confident it’s operating in a stable, robust, and effective computing environment that’s ready for the 2020 election.

3. State government bolsters its security

To give its voters the highest confidence levels possible, a state wanted to ensure all its counties could review their cybersecurity and vulnerability risks ahead of the election.

It needed a partner that could develop a scalable and turnkey solution, one that outlined how it would approach each county’s election office site review and would allow each individual county to opt in if desired. SHI was up to the task.

SHI quickly developed a security and site assessment process that fit exactly what the state was looking for. It was proven and scalable yet didn’t mandate the participation of every county. In the end, over 90% of the counties opted in.

SHI coordinated with these counties to provide a physical survey for each location. This included being on site to evaluate and inventory the network. Each county was provided a readout of its endpoint security and recommendations for an appropriate security configuration. Each site assessment also included best practices recommendations and an optional firewall installation, as well as additional monitoring services if interested.

The state wanted to give each county the opportunity to undergo a quality security posture review before the 2020 election. It got exactly what it asked for.

Set yourself up for success

These three state governments were committed to offering their citizens a safe and effective computing system ahead of the 2020 election. By enhancing their security and modernizing their environments, the states did just that. But these advances aren’t limited to election season.

For every public sector organization, technology fuels your ability to serve your constituents, whether they are citizens, students, or voters. Make sure your environment is set up for success.

To learn more about how your organization can minimize risk while maximizing results, contact the public sector specialists at SHI today.