Poll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates’ stances on cybersecurity

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Almost 80 percent of Americans will consider a candidate’s stance on cybersecurity when deciding their vote in elections, a poll made public Friday by IT security company Anomali found. 

The poll, complied by both Anomali and The Harris Poll in July, also found that 87 percent of Americans “view cybersecurity as a priority” but that only 51 percent feel the government is adequately addressing cyber threats. 

One major area of concern for survey respondents was ransomware, which occurs when a malicious actor locks down a system and demands a ransom from the user to unlock it. {mosads}

Around 21 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing a ransomware attack on either their personal or work internet-connected devices. However, around two-thirds of registered voters surveyed said they would not vote for a political candidate that supported paying the attacker to unlock the system.

To help battle cyber threats, 25 percent of those surveyed would support an increase of 1 percent in federal income tax to help bolster the government’s efforts. The number in favor drops significantly when the increase to federal income tax exceeds 1 percent, with only 5 percent of those surveyed in favor of a 5 percent or more increase in the tax.

The survey was conducted online, and the results were compiled from the responses of 2,021 Americans 18 years or older, with around 1,700 of these respondents registered to vote. 

Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have taken a stance on cybersecurity issues. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wrote in a Medium post in June that if she is elected president, she would replace the Election Assistance Commission with a Secure Democracy Administration, which would be tasked with managing the cybersecurity elements of elections. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) wrote in a separate Medium post that in her first 100 days in office she will “prioritize cybersecurity and protect our elections and other American infrastructure from cyber attack.”

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has perhaps gone the farthest in terms of cybersecurity of the 2020 candidates by committing to creating a Department of Cybersecurity if elected president.

Tags Amy Klobuchar Elizabeth Warren Harris John Delaney
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