The White House

August 2, 2018


“We’re going to take strong action to secure our election systems and the process.” – President Donald J. Trump

COMMITTED TO PROTECTING OUR ELECTIONS: President Donald J. Trump is committed to protecting our Nation’s elections from foreign interference.

  • President Trump has made clear that his Administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from any nation state or other malicious actor.
  • President Trump chaired National Security Council meetings on May 3 and July 27 to receive updates on and discuss the whole-of-government approach to election security being implemented at his direction.
    • This whole-of-government approach was put in motion at the beginning of the Administration to support State and local election officials across the country.   
  • President Trump’s meetings have addressed:
    • The threats posed to our elections by foreign actors.
    • Efforts underway to provide cybersecurity assistance to State and local authorities.
    • Actions to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable those who attempt to interfere in our electoral processes.
STRENGTHENING ELECTION SECURITY: The Trump Administration is helping State and local authorities bolster their defenses against cyber operations targeting our elections.

  • The Trump Administration is working to provide State and local authorities with the support they need to defend against attempts to interfere in our elections. 
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with all 50 States, local governments, and the private sector to strengthen election security.  
    • DHS is sharing information across all levels of government to ensure a coordinated response to any election interference attempt.
  • The Administration provided on-site cybersecurity support to States during the 2017 elections.
  • A new pilot program was launched to enable State and local officials and the Election Assistance Commission to share information on Election Day and allow for rapid response.
  • The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are working to investigate and disrupt any threats to our election systems and alert potential victims and targets.
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and DHS hosted classified briefings for election commissioners and State election officials from all 50 States.
    • These briefings provided insight into what the intelligence community is doing to assist DHS ahead of 2018 and 2020 elections.
  • ODNI held the first-ever Federal Election Table Top Exercise to improve information sharing.
    • ODNI leads an interagency working group of cyber and counterintelligence experts focused on ongoing information sharing and integration of election security efforts.
  • DHS recently held a National Cybersecurity Summit, bringing together stakeholders from Government, industry, and academia to advance cybersecurity.
    • The summit served as a launching point for a number of DHS cybersecurity initiatives.
    • DHS is launching a National Risk Management Center to coordinate Government and private sector risk management efforts to defend of our critical infrastructure. 

Department of Homeland Security
Release Date: August 1, 2018

DHS Hosts Successful First-Ever National Cybersecurity Summit

On July 31, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the first-of-its-kind National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City, bringing together industry partners and top federal officials with the goal of laying out a vision for a collective defense strategy to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. The summit brought together Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, and Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency General Paul M. Nakasone, DHS Under Secretary Chris Krebs, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and DHS Assistant Secretary Jeanette Manfra, alongside top CEOs from across industry including the telecom, financial, and energy sectors.

“We are not waiting for the next intrusion before we act,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “We are taking a clear-eyed look at the threat and taking action—and notably—collective action to combat them.”

Throughout the Summit, DHS and its government and industry partners agreed on a series of concrete steps to better understand what is truly critical and work together to reduce strategic risk. 
Secretary Nielsen announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center, which will coordinate national efforts to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure.

The National Risk Management Center will create a cross-cutting risk management approach across the federal government and our private sector partners through three lines of effort:

  • Identifying and prioritizing strategic risks to national critical functions;
  • Integrating government and industry activities on the development of risk management strategies; and
  • Synchronizing operational risk management activities across industry and government.
The National Risk Management Center advances the ongoing work of DHS and government and private sector partners to move collaborative efforts beyond information sharing and develop a common understanding of risk and joint action plans to ensure our nation’s most critical services and functions continue  uninterrupted in a constantly evolving threat environment. The Center will work closely with the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which will remain DHS’s central hub for cyber operations focused on threat indicator sharing, technical analysis and assessment services, and incident response. The two centers will work hand-in-hand to ensure effective coordination between strategic risk management and tactical operations.

The Department also unveiled the formation of the Information and Communications (ICT) Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force, which will be comprised of subject matter experts from industry and government. The Task Force will be housed in the Center and will examine and develop recommendations for actions to address key strategic challenges to identifying and managing risk associated with the global information and communications technology supply chain and related third-party risk. The Task Force is intended to focus on potential near- and long-term solutions to manage strategic risks through policy initiatives and opportunities for innovative public-private partnership.

Secretary Nielsen also discussed DHS’ ongoing commitment to improving the nation’s cybersecurity posture through the timely sharing of actionable cyber threat indicators via the free Automated Information Sharing (AIS) program. DHS has prioritized working with industry to identify improvements to AIS and will roll out an updated platform in the fall with upgraded capabilities to improve our collective defense. These improvements are based on feedback received from industry and will include additional context and improved feedback mechanisms to be more relevant and meaningful to users.

In his closing keynote address, Vice President Pence highlighted the Administration’s focus on cybersecurity and the critical role this summit played in moving forward with these efforts. Vice President Pence also called on the U.S. Senate to enact legislation to create the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency before the end of the year.

At the summit, a diverse group of more than twenty CEOs from some of the largest companies in the world and senior-most government officials convened specifically to discuss cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management. They were joined by hundreds of others from across a wide range of industries. The Department will continue to lead the federal government’s efforts for an integrated, cross-sector approach to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from the growing cyber threat.