Nebraska bill proposes to test state cybersecurity measures with an ethical hacker

The bill has been presented to the Legislature’s government committee as a proactive measure against potential cyber threats, aimed at fortifying critical infrastructure such as election equipment and software.

Voting Office

Nebraska State Senator Loren Lippincott has proposed a legislative measure to allocate $200,000 for hiring an ethical hacker to the Nebraska State Patrol. This allocation is intended to bolster the state’s cyber defenses by identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities within its computer systems, particularly those pertinent to elections.

The proposed bill forms part of a broader cybersecurity strategy, including an $11 million proposal to assist local governments and school districts in enhancing their cybersecurity protocols through training and preparedness drills. During the hearing, the bill garnered support without facing any opposition. Should the bill progress, it will undergo three rounds of debate within Nebraska’s unicameral legislature before potentially being enacted into law.

Why does it matter?

The introduction of this bill aligns with broader national endeavors aimed at fortifying election security, notably highlighted by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s recent launch of a program geared towards bolstering election security. In an era characterised by increasing digital interconnectedness and the ever-looming threat of cyberattacks, initiatives such as Senator Lippincott’s proposed bill underscore the critical importance of proactive cybersecurity measures, particularly concerning the integrity of electoral processes.

By investing in the expertise of ethical hackers and fortifying cybersecurity infrastructure, states like Nebraska aim to mitigate the risks posed by cyber threats, safeguard the democratic principles underpinning electoral systems, and ensure public trust in the integrity of democratic processes.