SF Tech Company Offers Federal Campaigns Free Cybersecurity

Matt Bigler
January 15, 2020 - 12:14 pm
California voters take to the polls

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In time for the 2020 election, a San Francisco web infrastructure and security company is offering free cybersecurity support for all federal election campaigns. 

Cloudflare announced “Cloudflare for Campaigns” Wednesday morning, a suite of free security services that includes protection for campaign websites via firewalls, bot management and other tools. 

“The goal here is really to make sure that all of the campaigns have access to a basic suite of cybersecurity services, even those that might not otherwise have resources to pay for them,” says Alissa Starzak, head of public policy at Cloudflare.

Campaign finance laws ordinarily limit corporations from providing free or discounted services to federal campaigns, so Cloudflare has partnered with the nonprofit group Defending Digital Campaigns, which has been given special approval from the Federal Elections Commission to work with corporations to provide cybersecurity services because of the “demonstrated, currently enhanced threat of foreign cyberattacks against party and candidate committees.”

“More and more we’re hearing from campaigns that they want these tools” says Michael Kaiser, president and CEO of DDC. “We hope that campaigns will go out and do their work with a little more peace of mind that they’re protecting their information, they’re protecting their candidate’s information and they can just focus on the work of running a great campaign.”

Cloudflare says it already provides services to 18 presidential and congressional campaigns, and blocks anywhere from 400,000 to more than 40 million attacks on a daily basis.

“We know that the adversaries here are very industrious and they’re very committed to wrongdoing in our electoral process,” says Kaiser. “So no one can say that we’re going to prevent every incident from happening. But we do believe that by helping campaigns at least implement some basic cybersecurity, that we can really up our defenses.”

Reported by Matt Bigler, written by Jessica Yi.