Case Study

Hidalgo County, TX Easily Builds End-to-End Encryption Into Custom App Workflows Using the Virtru Trusted Data Platform

“Leveraging the Trusted Data Platform—and Virtru’s user-friendly technology that we depend on for Gmail encryption— meant that we were able to easily deliver secure code for Hidalgo Country’s in-house apps. Now, we can automate reporting and improve our services, all while staying compliant.”

Jesus Rodriguez, IT Application Developer

Hidalgo County, Texas serves nearly 900,000 citizens who rely on the county and its agencies to keep their most personal data secure and private. Already familiar with using Virtru’s Gmail encryption product to meet Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) compliance requirements, Hidalgo County’s IT team realized they could use that same technology to secure custom app workflows and help employees collaborate more efficiently. We spoke with Jesus Rodriguez, IT Application Developer, to learn why he and his team selected Virtru’s Trusted Data Platform as their solution. With access to Virtru’s software development kit (SDK), Hidalgo County, TX was able to:

  • Layer end-to-end encryption into custom app workflows without any cryptographic expertise required and get up and running within a day.
  • Run automated reports in local environments that meet CJIS compliance requirements for encrypting inbound emails.
  • Improve agency services through seamless collaboration on protected data.

What business problem did Virtru help you solve?

“CJIS compliance standards require that inbound email containing criminal justice information (CJI) be encrypted at all times. To meet these requirements, we initially turned to Virtru to secure our Gmail messages and attachments containing CJI. Fast forward a few years and we were working on new custom app scripts that would access our information system, auto-generate a report, and email it to certain individuals. To make this new method of delivering reports CJIS compliant, we needed to build encryption into the workflow.

“We quickly realized there was an opportunity to leverage the same encryption technology from Virtru that we depend on within Gmail, but in our own custom workflows. I reached out to our Virtru Customer Success Manager and asked how we could get access to the Virtru API.”

How did Virtru support this custom workflow request?

“We worked directly with Virtru’s Solutions Engineering team who provided credentials to access the API. The Virtru SDK is available in a few languages and has clean documentation, as well as examples of how to run most of the functions, so it was an extremely straightforward process. We were up and running within a day of getting the keys. 

“Now that we know how easy it is to build encryption into our own apps, we are already identifying other use cases for the Virtru SDK. Each one is a little different, with unique compliance requirements, but the added layer of security that Virtru provides has the potential to be used time and time again within Hidalgo County’s apps.”

What impact did the added layer of security have on business processes?

“In this particular use case, the script automatically runs reports at specific times and emails those reports to authorized employees. Those recipients are used to having a set amount of time to view and download a report attachment before it expires, so adding a small step to decrypt the file was a non-issue. Virtru seamlessly fits into our existing workflows without adding any burden for our less tech-savvy employees. 

“At the end of the day, it’s about improving our services and there isn’t always an off-the-shelf app available that meets our needs. Fortunately, solutions like Virtru exist so that we can deliver secure code and address business needs, all while ensuring compliance requirements are met.”