Chris Furlow

Chris Furlow
TBA President & CEO

Who is out to compromise your vote?

Social EngineeringMuch has been made of the possible compromise of the U.S. electoral system since the 2016 presidential election. The use of digital platforms continues to accelerate across every segment of American life. Therefore, we cannot be surprised that adversaries would seek to electronically disrupt the sacred process that makes our republic the envy of the world.

With Cybersecurity Month upon us and the Nov. 3 elections just days away, our thoughts turn to the implications of possible cybersourced election disruption. 2020 has already been a hyperactive period of complex risk for the banking industry and the results of this year’s balloting may reverberate for a decade or more.

The “Election Infrastructure Cyber Risk Assessment” released this summer by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) states, “Foreign state and non-state actors leverage information activities as part of broad campaigns to sow discord, manipulate public discourse and discredit the electoral system to undermine the pillars of democracy.”

But there is a far more prevalent threat that penetrates the electoral system, that can undermine democracy and will guarantee that your vote will not count: apathy.

Cyber attacks like phishing rely on “social engineering” tactics to take advantage of human vulnerabilities to succeed. Cyber attacks like phishing rely on “social engineering” tactics to take advantage of human vulnerabilities to succeed. Opposing actors seek to trick or mislead unwitting individuals to take an action like clicking on an unfamiliar link or sharing sensitive information.

But when bankers fail to vote — and when we fail to encourage our banking colleagues and friends to vote for pro-banking candidates — inaction strikes the damaging blow. The resulting policy and regulatory wounds are self-inflicted without sophisticated technologies or methodologies.

With over 150,000 bankers and bank employees in Texas, you are part of a powerful constituency. Your voice should be heard on behalf of your industry and the communities you serve. It’s time to mobilize! Encourage your fellow bank employees to ask relevant questions and to learn about the banking positions of candidates:

  • Are they accessible and open to listening to bankers? Or are they anti-business and anti-banking?
  • Do they understand the importance of banks to your community and support the livelihoods of bank employees?
  • Have they supported the industry and our small business customers on issues like PPP forgiveness simplification?

Be sure you are registered by Oct. 5, then VOTE! You can early vote from Oct. 13-30 or go to your polling location on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Have questions? Ask us at TBA. We have candidate information and Get-Out-The-Vote tools ready for bankers to use! Government agencies will be fighting threats from without this fall. It’s up to each of us to fight voting apathy and the potential enemy from within.