USDA first to award SmartBuy encryption contract

The Agriculture Department awarded SafeBoot through its partnership with Spectrum Systems the first enterprise encryption task order off SmartBuy’s Data at Rest governmentwide procurement vehicle.

The $1.8 million contract provides for 180,000 licenses across USDA’s 29 agencies for SafeBoot’s device encryption, full-disk encryption and port monitoring controls, hardware, and the first year of maintenance and support.

The SmartBuy initiative aims to protect sensitive, unclassified data on government laptop PCs, other mobile computing devices and removable storage media such as flash drives. The encryption effort has the potential to accelerate standard data security on mobile devices and save money because agencies are using the power of their combined marketing strength to get the best prices.

The Office of Management and Budget, Defense Department and General Services Administration awarded blanket purchase agreements under SmartBuy’s efforts for data-at-rest to 10 vendor teams June 18. State and local governments may also take advantage of the SmartBuy contract.

SafeBoot and Spectrum have offered state and local governments a special promotion that expires Oct. 29 to sign up for SafeBoot encryption products based on the USDA pricing, said Sean Lyons, SafeBoot’s director of federal and state operations. So far, 11 states, including New York, have signed on to the vehicle.

“SafeBoot recognized that state and local governments have had to struggle for the opportunity to purchase encryption in higher volume and we are pleased to extend this opportunity and help build this critical part of our nation’s infrastructure,” said Gerhard Watzinger, SafeBoot’s chief executive officer.

The promotion provides states with a price that is better than the average price on SmartBuy because of the volume discount, Lyons said.

“In essence, they’re getting access to our technology at a quantity discount for 180,000 seats,” he said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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