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Ahead of Election, Texas County IT Provider Touts Security

The firm handling IT services for Potter County, Texas, said that it is continually executing efforts to bolster cybersecurity as it relates to the electoral process in advance of the coming vote.

by Douglas Clark, Amarillo Globe-News / September 29, 2020

(TNS) — The firm handling IT services for Potter County, Texas, said it is continually executing efforts to bolster cybersecurity as it relates to the electoral process.

"We all know there is an election coming up," David Blankenship, Andrews & Associates IT Solutions Chief Information Officer, said. "The bad things the bad guys do are definitely on the increase. So, election security specifically, we've beefed up the firewall, increased security on the spam filter and we've already started enrolling county employees in cybersecurity training."

Per Blankenship, another element of protection is dark web scans.

"A dark web scan is where we use a service that will go out and automatically scan the dark web," he said. "This is where the bad things happen. This is where data bases of user credentials are bought and sold on a daily basis. They go out, scan those and provide us with reports. We already have one vendor set up."

In August, the Potter County Commissioners' Court approved a five-year agreement with Andrews & Associates IT Solutions to continue handling the county's IT services.

The county originally agreed to establish a contract with Andrews &Associates IT Solutions in August 2019, noting the action stemmed from department and employee efforts to navigate through the aftermath of an April 2019 system ransomware attack.

Amarillo resident Patsy Sanderson said it is important to have confidence that votes are protected.

"It's election season, and we're going to here more and more about things that are going amiss when it comes to voting," she said. "It's good to know the county is aware of that fact and trying to stay ahead of things. The process has to be safe and secure, because we all know there is a lot at stake."

©2020 Amarillo Globe-News, Texas. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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