Secretary Fontes Lauds AZDOHS Partnership for Thwarting Cybersecurity Threat

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PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes attributed a major triumph in the security of Arizona's electoral system due to a partnership with the Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS) and the Arizona Information Sharing and Analysis Center (AZ-ISAC).

Two Arizona counties caught early attacks, patched their software vulnerabilities, and returned to normal operating conditions due to robust information sharing and deployment of cybersecurity defenses.

"I want to celebrate the tremendous work that AZDOHS and our local teams are doing to strengthen our security measures," said Secretary Fontes. "It's essential for the public to understand that we are implementing every possible safeguard to protect the integrity of our elections. We're making it clear to our adversaries: Arizona is vigilant and proactive, and not the place to target."

Elections infrastructure was successfully protected from a cyber-attack related to the ConnectWise ScreenConnect Vulnerability that has already compromised various government and healthcare organizations nationwide.

"Through the vigilance of county staff, collaborative efforts with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office and AZDOHS, and intelligence sharing in AZ-ISAC, we are united in a mission to safeguard Arizona's elections against cyber, physical, and reputational threats," said Michael Moore, Chief Information Officer for the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

Fontes highlighted the importance of collaboration across jurisdictions and praised the unsung heroes working diligently to ensure the safety and security of Arizona's electoral system. Through the partnership with AZDOHS, comprehensive assessments have been carried out across the state, providing valuable tools and strategies to improve cyber resilience and physical security.

"These efforts have positively impacted nearly all counties, enabling a focused evaluation of incident management, response protocols, disaster recovery, and beyond," Moore said.

The insights gained from these assessments have guided strategic decisions within the Secretary of State's Office, including the appointment of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and close collaboration with the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. Both offices are committed to supporting counties in upgrading their security measures, developing robust contingency plans, standard operating procedures, and facilitating statewide information sharing and training.

To further secure Arizona's electoral infrastructure, the Secretary of State's Office has deployed advanced technological solutions. These tools are instrumental in fortifying the state's defenses as Arizona prepares for the upcoming Presidential Preference, Primary, and General elections.

For more information about information security in Arizona, visit https://azdohs.gov/cyber .

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