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Pratum, a cybersecurity firm based in Ankeny, is assisting the Secretary of State’s Office and all 99 counties to protect elections by helping with several initiatives aimed at securing the vote and preparing election officials.

Secretary of State Paul Pate organized workshops in July where county auditors, emergency managers, IT directors, vendor partners, and other stakeholders worked with Pratum to develop an incident response plan every county could utilize for a variety of scenarios.

“As election officials, we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best,” Secretary Pate said. “Whether it’s a cyber event, civil unrest, equipment failure, or a natural disaster, we have a plan and we are prepared to handle it. Pratum has provided valuable insight to assist all 99 counties with setting up the necessary action steps to deal with any problem that might occur.”

Pratum also assisted the state in boosting its cyber maturity.

“Our consultants have helped Secretary Pate’s Office develop a full range of security efforts, including penetration testing, training employees to spot e-mail scams, and tracking daily network activity to stop hackers before they get in. As Iowans ourselves, we’re proud to see our state focused on this critical area,” said Dave Nelson, Founder and CEO of Pratum.

By creating and enhancing partnerships with state and federal agencies, the military, global cyber companies, independent security researchers and local companies like Pratum, Secretary Pate continues to make cybersecurity a top priority to help ensure Iowa’s elections are protected at every level.

“Drawing on the expertise of third-party companies and building effective partnerships like the one with Pratum is critical in order to maintain a fully functional and comprehensive information security program. Iowans are fortunate to have these cybersecurity professionals at their disposal,” said Jeff Franklin, Chief Cybersecurity Officer for the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office.

Foreign adversaries and bad actors are constantly looking for ways to disrupt U.S. elections. However, Iowans should remain confident that the state and its partners are taking all the necessary steps to protect the sanctity of their vote.