U.S. Department Of Education Adopts PGP Encryption

Solutions protect sensitive information while making it easier for mobile users to more securely access IT systems

September 23, 2009

4 Min Read


WASHINGTON and MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- PGP Corporation, a global leader in enterprise data protection, today announced that the U.S. Department of Education is leveraging PGP Corporation's patented encryption technology to improve its data security, regulatory compliance and staff productivity. More importantly, the department is relying on PGP solutions to protect Americans' personally identifiable information (PII) while making it easier for its mobile users to more securely access agency IT systems from remote locations.

The U.S. Department of Education, a federal agency with 4,200 employees, promotes excellence in education at all levels. The agency stores, accesses and transmits a tremendous amount of sensitive data daily, including confidential information on students and financial aid. It must also comply with numerous federal mandates for national security, cybersecurity and identity management. To do this effectively, the department needed a complete, compliant global solution to protect sensitive data from compromise while in transit and at rest.

Phillip Loranger, the department's Chief Information Security Officer, oversaw the project to incorporate PGP Whole Disk Encryption with PGP Universal(TM) Server into the department's Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card system. He also had to bring full-disk encryption and two-factor authentication to PIV card holders using mobile devices. The Education Department, along with all other federal agencies, must issue PIV cards to enhance security, reduce identity fraud and guard the personal information of card holders.

Loranger performed a trial run with the technology with a few select agency components in December 2008. PGP solutions and staff met all requirements and exceeded expectations.

By using the PIV log-in and the PGP Whole Disk Encryption solution, the Department of Education has experienced easier desktop authentication and improved user compliance. In addition to improving security, it has lowered agency cultural barriers to using encryption, which persist because many agency employees still think encryption is costly and hurts IT system performance, which is no longer the case with today's technology.

When the initial deployment was started, the staff complained about "more security stuff," but two weeks later, the attitude had changed. Staff is now embracing the new security system.

The technology will start rolling out to the whole department starting in the fourth quarter of 2009 and the project is scheduled for full implementation by the third quarter of 2010.

PGP Corporation wanted to help the department better achieve its mission, not just comply with mandates. In order to ensure The Education Department interests got the right attention, CEO Phil Dunkelberger took an active role in the project. By understanding what the customer wanted to do and what was possible in their environment, Dunkelberger and his technology team were able to empower the customer.

"The Education Department is the steward of personal information of millions of Americans and thus needs to ensure only the right people can access the right information in the right way," Dunkelberger said. "We are happy to help the department - and all federal agencies - meet their security and compliance responsibilities while making it easier for employees to do their jobs."

About the U.S. Department of Education

The Education Department (ED) was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED's 4,200 employees and $68.6 billion budget are dedicated to:

-- Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds. -- Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research. -- Focusing national attention on key educational issues. -- Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

Learn more about the Education Department at www.ed.gov.

About PGP Corporation

PGP Corporation is a global leader in email and data encryption software for enterprise data protection. Based on a unified key management and policy infrastructure, the PGP Encryption Platform offers the broadest set of integrated applications for enterprise data security. PGP platform-enabled applications allow organizations to meet current needs and expand as security requirements evolve for email, laptops, desktops, instant messaging, smartphones, network storage, file transfers, automated processes, and backups.

PGP solutions are used by more than 100,000 enterprises, businesses, and governments worldwide, including 95 percent of the Fortune 100, 75 percent of the Fortune Global 100, 87 percent of the German DAX index, and 51 percent of the U.K. FTSE 100 Index. As a result, PGP Corporation has earned a global reputation for innovative, standards-based, and trusted solutions. PGP solutions help protect confidential information, secure customer data, achieve regulatory and audit compliance, and safeguard companies' brands and reputations. Contact PGP Corporation at www.pgp.com.

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