Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) (NYSE:OFC) is a $5B publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) based in the Greater Washington, DC/Baltimore region. The company specializes in developing, managing and leasing office and data center properties near key defense installations engaged in matters of national security, defense and information technology.
We spoke with Ken Kurz, Vice President of Information Technology and CIO at COPT. Ken is responsible for advancing new technology to support COPT’s operations and goals; he also delivers expert guidance on risk mitigation and communication systems.
How are you using Virtru today?
“A significant percentage of our overall business is with the federal government and other sensitive industry verticals such as the data center market. To protect these relationships, we need secure communications. When we’re discussing a deal or location with a potential tenant, those discussions need to be secure and confidential. Virtru is crucial to maintaining that secure communication. Virtru offers encryption as secure as PGP, but makes it easy enough that our end-users, customers and partners can use it regularly.”
How is Virtru helping COPT?
“In a number of cases, tenant privacy is something extremely important to the business relationship. Virtru helps us protect those relationships and keep our clients and tenants satisfied and secure. On the internal side, we send personally identifiable information (PII) — social security COPT Depends on Virtru to Ensure Tenant Privacy and Strengthen Client Relationships VIRTRU SUCCESS STORY www.virtru.com “Virtru offers encryption as secure as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), but makes it easy enough that our end-users, customers and partners can use it regularly. When we’re discussing a deal or location with a potential tenant, those discussions need to be secure and confidential. Virtru is crucial to maintaining that secure communication.” – Ken Kurz, Vice President of Information Technology and CIO, COPT numbers, tax info, property details through the course of everyday business — and Virtru’s encryption ensures that whatever we’re sending between facilities is secure and private.”
How were you sharing sensitive information before Virtru?
“We didn’t really have a cohesive solution before Virtru. We had a few different legacy solutions that had been used over the years, but they were cumbersome. Once we committed to Office 365, we started looking for something that would meet our security requirements, allow us to share with anyone inside or outside the company, and wouldn’t interfere with our users. That’s what put us on the path to Virtru.”
What capabilities really stand out?
“Virtru’s simplicity was a big selling point for us. I was familiar with Virtru before we started using it, and had been impressed the first time I came across it years ago. I knew it was going to be a good solution. Deployment was extremely easy. It took almost no training; we simply sent around some screenshots and instructions, and people were up and running. We set up a couple information sessions, but honestly, they weren’t really necessary. We also really appreciate the control Virtru gives us: we use the Restrict Forwarding feature with third parties to ensure they don’t share sensitive information; we can watermark documents, revoke emails; and Read Receipt has been helpful with non-responsive recipients. Also, Virtru was great about helping us customize to meet our needs—like integrating with our Okta single-sign-on manager and helping us tune our DLP rules to educate our team and avoid false positives.
“At the end of the day, Virtru provides simple encryption that’s as good as PGP (if not better).”
– Ken Kurz, Vice President of Information Technology and CIO, COPT