One would think that August would be a slow time of year for our public sector team, as government officials are on recess and D.C. effectively shuts down. However, it's actually one of the busiest times of the year for us. The decision makers use this "downtime" to plan their strategic initiatives that will impact their agencies in the following year.
With nearly 20 federal agencies in the United States and abroad and a handful of local governments as customers for more than 10 years, Ping has played a significant role in helping them navigate some of the most significant technical changes they have had to face at a dizzying pace.
Everyone is moving to the cloud, effectively throwing the concept of perimeter-based IT security out the window. Government employees are no longer confined to their desks, tethered to a local network. They conduct business on the move -- on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops, in airports, coffee shops and warehouses. With the influx of devices, apps and general mobility of government workers, there is a real challenge to ensure the right people have access to the right things, or, that the wrong people can't access highly sensitive or classified information.
One of the biggest challenges federal agencies face is ensuring new investments can integrate with existing ones. Specifically, as they move to the cloud, they need to provide secure access for employees to cloud applications that are only available through a set of pre-approved, pre-certified service providers. Challenges are compounded by threats like the Office of Personnel Management breach where 22 million identities of federal employees were compromised, making the best security the top priority.
Ping's approach is to build solutions that integrate well with legacy technologies. For example, in 2005, the U.S. Federal government standardized on smart cards for employee and contractor identification cards and is also introducing smart cards for new identity programs for citizens, transportation workers and first responders. The smart card is embedded into daily life for all Federal government employees to provide secure access to physical facilities, computer systems and networks. We created the PingFederate X.509 Certificate Integration Kit so government agencies can quickly and easily enable cloud applications for standard smart card programs such as the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and Department of Defense Common Access Card (CAC). This leverages agency investment in smart cards and meets mandates and requirements for funding, integrating legacy on-premise solutions with today's cloud applications.
As cloud applications and mobile devices in the government sector continue to take off, we have been working with our customers in a similar fashion to create identity solutions that make enabling these new technologies easy and secure. Most recently, we established partnerships with organizations like Connect.gov (press release) and leading government IT solutions provider, Carahsoft to help provide identity and access management solutions to a variety of agencies.
This May, Ping was awarded four out of four stars at the Defense Intelligence Information Enterprise (DI2E) PlugFest Exchange for our ability to help the DoD achieve their cloud strategy goals. We are now listed on the (DI2E) Storefront and are approved to operate with state and federal agencies. The storefront helps agencies that are looking for IAM solutions find DI2E vetted providers who can deploy products almost immediately, cutting down a significant amount of red tape when selecting a cloud security provider.
Ping is making it a priority to expand our current government solutions as well as forge new relationships with government organizations. We are thrilled with the progress we've made so far and look forward to solving the IAM, cloud and mobile security issues government organizations are experiencing.