The campaign trail is a grinding endeavor. Running for office will take every ounce of your strength and focus. But that’s how it should be – no one gets into politics because it’s an easy career move. While challenging and mentally taxing, running for office – and winning – is incredibly rewarding as all of your hard work for the people of your community pays off in a huge sum.
One thing that is particularly important for a candidate for the local or national stage is a cybersecurity team that can defend your personal and political goals and interests.
The Modern Field of Play
Politics is a messy game: That much we all know. Yet the people who get hurt by the political stunts and embarrassing moments aren’t the politicians. For instance, Sen. Ted Cruz has been in the spotlight and hot seat in recent days and weeks for a spur-of-the-moment trip to Cancun to escape the freezing conditions in Texas while the people of his state suffered. Cruz is facing backlash, of course, but any political damage done to his image or hopes for the future pales compared to the hurt that Texans had to endure during this same time.
These are the things you are fighting for as a new contender running for office. Whether local administration or the U.S. Senate, the ends are always the same for new candidates: You will be running on a platform of change, renewal, hope, and expanded prosperity for those in your community. To do this, you will need a customized homepage and a social media presence that gets the word out about your credentials and plan for the local area. This is where social engineering and campaign marketing strategies come into play; it’s also where your greatest vulnerability lies.
Social engineering and data science play a huge role in the modern running of day-to-day politics and the political campaigns that seek to add their candidates’ names to the fray. Every campaign operates with a massive workload of sensitive information that offers a uniquely rich target for hackers and phishing attacks. Social engineering techniques have been leveraged for malfeasance over the last few campaign cycles, and this is only going to continue increasing in severity over the years to come. When applied in phishing, scam, or otherwise in a hacker’s arsenal, the techniques provided through social engineering function as a powerful tool that gets results.
Social engineers have gotten a rap in the last few years. With the continued threat of election interference from abroad tainting the ground level, trust in elections operations projected into the future, cybersecurity and the warding off cybercriminals have never been more important for retaining elections and campaign security. With a social engineer and counter-hackers on your elections security team, you can train your staff to resist persuasive phishing attacks that seem innocuous and protect sensitive information with best practices for file saving, attachment routines in emails and other correspondence, and even intelligence in social media authority.
Weaknesses exist all across organizations. Cybercriminals are incredibly adept at exploiting these for access to confidential information that they can sell or use in all manner of illicit ways themselves. In addition to robust security measures to defend against sensitive data breaches, it’s important to go on the offensive on social media and other traditional advertising spaces. Using social engineering benefits to your advantage is a great way to frame your campaign message – especially for those who may be opposed to your platform or party more generally.
By using the lessons learned through social engineering tactics, you can make the race about substantive policy issues: Highlighting the concerns that hit closest to home and showing your constituents how you plan to solve them is a winning strategy in any campaign.