Cloudflare to offer free security services for political campaigns

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Cloudflare is offering its cybersecurity services to political campaigns for free.
Image: Cloudflare

Regardless of which side of the aisle a person leans towards, there is something that everyone can mutually agree on—political campaign security is a major concern. Considering the pivotal impact of elections and the amount of money involved with them, campaigns are often a tempting target for hackers and cybercriminals.

As a result, campaigns need to secure their data. Heading into the 2020 election season, that becomes even more important. Now, network security titan Cloudflare is offering its powerful security services to U.S. political campaigns at no cost.

Protecting Voters

When it comes to protecting a political campaign, there is a lot that goes into it. All campaigns, but especially national-level ones, have large amounts of data in their care. In many cases, this includes the private information of voters who have chosen to share it.

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Today’s world is driven by data and hackers are willing to go to extreme lengths to obtain it. To guard against this, most large-scale campaigns have positions for people who exclusively manage the team’s cybersecurity. Unfortunately, that takes time and resources that many smaller campaigns don’t have. Cloudflare will help make this a non-issue with its suite of security services.

It will offer a new package, called Cloudflare for Campaigns, free of charge to qualifying U.S.-based political campaigns. This will include distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack mitigation, load balancing and firewalls for campaign websites, and protection against bots.

Cloudflare’s CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince says that his company sees a “clear need” to help campaigns secure their data.

The program is an offshoot of Cloudflare’s Project Galileo, an initiative that aims to defend journalists, civil rights activists, and humanitarian groups from cyberattacks. In 2018, Project Galileo expanded to help some state and local governments guard servers containing voter registration data.

To qualify, campaigns must have received a certain amount of contributions depending on which position the candidate is running for. House and Senate campaigns for leaders that qualify for the general election are also eligible.

Prince says, “This is our way of providing best practices and no-brainer solutions to not only large campaigns, but also smaller, but equally important campaigns that may have limited resources.”

Widespread Work

The name Cloudflare probably sounds familiar to anyone in the cybersecurity industry. The San Francisco-based company has provided security for more than 20,000,000 Internet properties, including the likes of Zendesk, SoFi, and more. It also offers free services to the campaigns of eight 2020 presidential candidates.

Cloudflare claims that it defends against more than 400,000 attacks on U.S. election campaigns every day. It is working with the non-partisan, non-profit organization Defending Digital campaigns to offer its services to candidates this year.

Notably, this has only been made possible recently. Until last year, it was illegal for political campaigns to receive discounted or free cybersecurity help. Thanks to a ruling by the Federal Elections Commission, that rule was reversed.

As a result, the 2020 election season will be much safer for everyone. With the backing of Cloudflare’s cybersecurity expertise, campaigns will be able to run more smoothly and worry less about being digitally compromised.

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