While serving as the chief information security officer for the U.S. Postal Service from 2015 through March of this year, I developed a great appreciation and respect for the critical role the agency performs for our nation. During the 2020 election, in particular, the magnitude of our mission hit home every day.
At the time, the Postal Service was responsible for the receipt and delivery of 70 million mailed voting ballots. As a result, the protection of our IT network—one of the largest in the world—was in the national spotlight and emerged as more essential than ever. Innovation makes this entire process possible, with operational technology (OT) in the form of automation-enabled mail processing equipment spanning up to the length of half a football field in huge warehouses located throughout the country.
We were aware that nation state adversaries were seeking to sabotage the election and could attempt to do so by hacking these systems and machines. But our cybersecurity and IT teams at the Postal Service rose to the occasion, demonstrated vigilance and ensured the on-time delivery of those ballots.