Skypunch Technology, through its residency in Vantage Ventures (the startup accelerator born out of the John Chambers School of Business and Economics at West Virginia University) has partnered with a team of cybersecurity experts at West Virginia University (WVU) to begin conducting security reviews of its voting software. This red team, made up of undergrad and graduate level students under the direction of expert professors, will use the Skypunch platform to perform such exercises as penetration testing and audits against level 3 of the Open Web Application Security Project’s (OWASP) Application Security Verification Standards. Level 3 is reserved for critical infrastructure and other applications requiring the highest level of trust.
The relationship is a win-win as it provides the university with a real-world platform against which students may perform these exercises as part of their coursework while also helping Skypunch to ensure compliance with the highest level of cybersecurity best practices and remediate any vulnerabilities that may be identified. This will not be a one-time exercise, but something that continues indefinitely as students change each semester and technology forever evolves making it exciting to think about what this could grow into over time.
Through initiatives in the Secretary of State’s office over the past few years West Virginia had already begun establishing itself as something of a national leader in election administration. With it now being home to Skypunch Technology and this announcement of WVU being engaged to carry out red team exercises on the Skypunch solution, West Virginia’s burgeoning reputation as home to next-generation election tools is further solidified.