Cybersecurity experts discuss election, research security

By | December 3, 2020
Ravi Pendse and Javed Ali on Zoom call.
(Elizabeth Williams/Michigan Daily)

Almost a month after Election Day, experts discussed the threats to election security and cybersecurity and its role within the University of Michigan community in the second installment of the Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series. 

Javed Ali, former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, discussed the connections between technology and election security. Ali said the shift towards paper ballots with the 2020 election will help improve cybersecurity. But he added that there are other risks associated with more mail-in or paper ballots, including political actors questioning the results and slower election results. 

The event was moderated by Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, who emphasized the importance of everyone in the U-M community keeping internal cybersecurity safe. He said malicious actors attempt to access U-M digital properties 2 billion times a day.