The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU) have deployed four Data Management and Cyber Security Experts to lend critical technical support for and complement the efforts of the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia to manage and secure the integrity of the election data system.
The experts commenced work on Monday, September 26, 2023, and their roles are part of measures to provide further credibility and transparency to the management and security of the electoral database.
They will help in carrying out risk assessment of the election results management portal; review the results Management Portal and identify areas of improvement, if any, and support the installation, monitoring, and troubleshooting of Microsoft SQL Server and other RDBMS packages in production, development and test environment.
They will also assist with monitoring and troubleshooting databases and all database objects relating to the Complaint Management System and other applications. They will help maintain system software and applications software databases and implement and enforce the security of all databases.
Other functions will include helping to review, investigate, and respond to real-time alerts within the environment; reviewing real-time and historical reports for security and/or compliance violations and monitoring online security-related resources for new and emerging cyber threats.
The experts will work in close collaboration with NEC Data Management staff and will stay on for some time after the October 10, 2023 elections. They bring working experiences from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, the US, and the Middle East, among others.
The preemptive move is coming at no cost to the Liberia taxpayers. ECOWAS and AU are bearing all expenses. Indeed, two were hired by ECOWAS, while the other two by the AU as part of measures being taken by the two bodies to ensure the safety of the system, enhance its credibility, protect and improve existing measures to secure the integrity of the system.
Aside from helping to protect and improve the system, ECOWAS and AU believe that there will be knowledge transfer through the sharing of experiences, expertise, and new ways of doing things to help the NEC continue to build a robust system that can stand the test of time and enhance stakeholders confidence in the system.