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New York state agencies to use SafeNet encryption

SafeNet : 10 July, 2008  (Application Story)
Data held by government and state agencies in New York to be protected using encryption software from SafeNet
SafeNet will help protect the private information of New York citizens after the Company was awarded a contract from the state for encryption software products and services. This new designation enables state and government agencies, as well as authorised users in New York to purchase SafeNet's ProtectDrive disk encryption software through a statewide piggyback agreement.

ProtectDrive is SafeNet's full-disk encryption solution that encrypts the entire hard drive of laptops, workstations, and servers, as well as removable media, such as USB flash drives, in order to protect data in cases of theft or loss of hardware.

Personal and sensitive government information stored on devices such as laptops and flash drives is often unaccounted for and unprotected, and can be problematic if compromised. Government organisations — and any organisation that handles sensitive data—must consider the ramifications if data is lost or stolen, including lawsuits, negative publicity, lost revenue, and damage to reputation. In some cases, it may be a matter of national security, with lives at risk.

'The importance of allowing state and local governments to be part of this procurement of data-at-rest encryption cannot be overstated," said William Pelgrin, Director of the New York State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination (CSCIC). "This historic partnership is one of the most important projects to improve our collective security posture; entities that buy off the contract will be implementing sound industry best practice standards which they may not have otherwise implemented."

Historically, implementing suitable protection has been slow, due in part to the complexity and high deployment costs of technologies. Today, select state and local government agencies can take advantage of the US General Service Administration's (GSA) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for the Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) SmartBUY program. Under this program, state and local agencies can leverage the buying power of the federal government to receive favourable pricing, quantity discounts, saved administrative time, and reduced paperwork, in their efforts to secure information and comply with regulation mandates.

Since June 2007, these contracts have saved state and local governments more than $33 million nationally on encryption product purchases. In addition to saving taxpayer dollars, this program strengthens protection of government data and requires participating vendors to meet technical and information assurance requirements.

"This encryption software contract from the state of New York creates a unique partnership in the information security industry. SafeNet is committed to supporting the federal, state, and local government in securing sensitive data," said Chris Fedde, president and COO, SafeNet. "SafeNet has distributed more than 250,000 copies of ProtectDrive to various government agencies."

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