The Defense Department is lending assistance to the Department of Homeland Security as DHS works to protect election infrastructure in the run-up to next week’s mid-term congressional elections, said Ed Wilson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Cyber Policy, on Tuesday at the 2018 Symantec Government Symposium.

In a speech that covered the rapid pace of DoD cyber policy developments this year, including release of the Pentagon’s updated Cyber Strategy, Wilson said DoD recently “signed on to some paperwork” for how it could help respond to election interference.

Wilson said DoD has worked with DHS to focus on the problem of possible interference, and said that includes intelligence input from DoD “to bolster security of election infrastructure.”

“We want to share information to the best of our ability,” he said regarding the mechanics of sharing intelligence data with DHS. “It has been happening, but we are trying to improve it,” Wilson said.

In the same data-sharing vein, Wilson said DoD has begun “pathfinder pilots” on how it can better share threat and other data through DHS and then out to the private sector.

In addition, he said DoD has been giving thought to its role in assisting recovery from any large-scale cyber event in the U.S., and Wilson commented “there has been some really solid work” accomplished on that front. He did not elaborate further.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.