03/10/2018 11:14 AM IST | Updated 03/10/2018 11:14 AM IST

Ahead of 2019 Polls, Election Commission Is Working To Protect Voter Database, Networks From Cyber Breach

Steps taken include appointment of a chief information security officer and workshops for staffers in cyber hygiene.

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A file photo of Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat.

Over the past nine months, the Election Commission (EC) has been carrying out an unprecedented exercise related to cyber security as part of its overall planning for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

This is aimed at protecting its voter registration database and office networks from unauthorised influence and access once election season sets in. It was started keeping in mind global fears about cyber-meddling by Russia and other countries in Western democracies.

According to the Express report, some of the key steps taken by the EC are: appointment of a chief information security officer in the Delhi head office and a cyber security nodal officer in each state; exclusive regulations on cyber security within the commission; audit by third parties of all poll-related applications and websites; workshops for staffers in cyber hygiene and a proposal to amend the IT Act, 2000, for recognising elections as 'critical information'.

"A cyber attack, irrespective of the actual damage caused, spreads misinformation and can delegitimise a democratic process. Hence, for the first time, cyber security is part of election planning," an EC official told the newspaper.

Read the full report from The Indian Expresshere.