Kevin Smith: Census Bureau Launches Cyber Measures to Address Potential Risks

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Kevin Smith, chief information officer of the Census Bureau, said the agency will ensure encryption of data as it anticipates receiving 60 percent of its responses online for the 2020 count, FCW reported Wednesday. Smith said during an event Tuesday that the bureau will seek the help of intelligence agencies to support its cybersecurity efforts for Census 2020.

“We’re going through the steps right now with [the Department of Homeland Security] to involve the intelligence community to determine what to put in place,” he said. “They offered to provide us with support similar to the 2018 midterm elections.”

Smith noted that federal agencies would carry out penetration testing on the bureau’s systems before the end of the first quarter to be followed by another round of tests.

“Those are all set up to be done in the next six months, and there will probably be some done in the fall as well,” he said.

To address potential risks of human error, Smith said the bureau will use two-factor authentication and will remotely delete data in a compromised enumeration device.

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