SecurityScorecard Reveals 75% of US States and Territories Have Poor Overall Cybersecurity Leading up to Election

NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A report[1] released today reviews the overall cybersecurity posture, including election-related infrastructure, of all 56 U.S. states and territories leading up to the presidential election. The “State of the States” infographic report[2] found that the vast majority (75%) showed signs of a vulnerable IT infrastructure. The report was authored by SecurityScorecard[3], a New York-based cybersecurity firm and the global leader in security ratings. Since most state websites offer access to voter and election information, these findings may indicate unforeseen issues leading up to, and following, the US election.

High-Level Findings

  • Seventy-five percent of U.S. states and territories’ overall cyberhealth are rated a ‘C’ or below; 35% have a ‘D’ and below.
    • States with a grade of ‘C’ are 3x more likely to experience a breach (or incident, such as ransomware) compared to an ‘A’ based on a three-year SecurityScorecard study of historical data
    • Those with a ‘D’ are nearly 5x more likely to experience a breach

  • States with the highest scores: Kentucky (95) Kansas (92) Michigan (92)
  • States with the lowest scores: North Dakota (59) Illinois (60) Oklahoma (60)
  • Among states and territories, there are as many ‘F’ scores as there are ’A’s
  • The Pandemic Effect: Many states’ scores have dropped significantly since January. For example, North Dakota scored a 72 in January and now has a 59
    • Why? Remote work mandates gave state networks a larger attack surface (e.g., thousands of state workers on home Wi-Fi), making it more difficult to ensure employees are using up-to-date software

  • SecurityScorecard observed significant security concerns with two critically important “battleground” states, Iowa and Ohio, both of which scored a 68, or a ‘D’ rating.
  • According to political experts, the following states are considered “battleground” and will help determine the result of the election. But over half have a lacking overall IT infrastructure:

○ Michigan: 92 (A)

○ North Carolina: 81 (B)

○ Wisconsin: 88 (B)

○ Arizona: 81 (B)

○ Texas: 85 (B)

○ New Hampshire: 77 (C)

○ Pennsylvania: 85 (B)

○ Georgia: 77 (C)

○ Nevada: 74 (C)

○ Iowa: 68 (D)

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