Report: DISA to Adopt Encryption Protocol for Email Protection

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to adopt a new email gateway infrastructure by mid-2018 to support the use of an encryption protocol that works to protect e-mail messages in transit, Gizmodo reported Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Sarah Zabel, vice director of DISA, told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) in a letter the agency is preparing an acquisition program to modernize the Defense Department‘s e-mail gateways that will aid in the STARTTLS encryption protocol implementation effort.

Wyden wrote to DISA in late March asking why DoD did not implement STARTTLS even though many federal and private organizations use the tool.

Zabel told Wyden that DISA initially opted not to use STARTTLS because the agency believed the protocol would interfere with methods to detect e-mail threats, according to the report.

He also sent a follow-up letter to the agency last week saying DoD’s aging technology has prevented the adoption of STARTTLS on a default basis.

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