Why IT Services Are Vital For Any Political Candidate's Office

Posted on: 25 July 2016

You may be running for a city or state political office, but even though you're not on a national stage, you could be at risk of a cyberattack. What does that mean? It simply means that no matter how small your office, without good IT services and security, hackers could find a way to target you.

Why Are Political Candidates Targeted?

Cyber crimes against you could take the form of illicitly accessing your computer or bringing down your website. Small businesses -- which present similar targets -- are the subjects of nearly 43 percent of cyber attacks, which is a huge increase over 18 percent just 5 years ago. Hackers are more savvy about how to gain access and data.

Add in the anger that politics, especially during a contentious presidential election year, sometimes inspires and you have a problem. People with computer knowledge have found that cyber attacks are one way to launch a protest, and like small businesses, the computers of small-scale politicians are often easy targets.

Data breaches can be an even more serious concern. If you keep databases with information on political supporters and donors, this can be stolen and the personal information within used for identity theft. Your political emails and strategic information is also at risk of being accessed and leaked to the public; while you may not have anything to hide, you may also not want that personal communication made available for everyone to see.

What Can IT Services Do To Keep You Secure?

Getting IT professionals involved to keep your data secure is one of the most important security measures you can take as a political candidate. Here are three steps that an IT services firm can help you as a political candidate manage:

  1. Make a security plan. If others work for you, determine what information can be accessed by personal laptops and whether additional software or apps can be installed on your campaign computers. Make sure all software, including that for mobile devices, is regularly updated. You should also have a policy for what to do if someone close to the campaign leaves
  2. Have a password policy. There are many good policies in place for how to create and how often to change important passwords. IT professionals can institute these for you and force you to choose secure passwords or phrases to protect your information.
  3. Install security software. Your IT services professional can recommend a software package or service that will best protect you based on the security you need, the number of computers and devices you have and the amount of traveling you do.
  4. Place security on your web server. You may need more than a cheap web hosting account to protect your online presence. IT services can secure your web server from potential attacks and manage any issues that may arise.

Talk to your IT services professional to see what additional security measures they recommend.