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This report responds to a congressional request that the GAO review the federal government's public key infrastructure (PKI) strategy and initiatives to assess the issues and challenges the government faces in adopting this new technology. A PKI is a system of hardware, software, policies, and people that, when fully and properly implemented, can provide a suite of information security assurances that are important in protecting sensitive communications and transactions.
Specifically, the GAO agreed to assess (1) the progress of the federal government in planning and coordinating federal PKI initiatives and (2) remaining challenges to be overcome before PKI can be put into widespread use. The report recommends that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget take steps to improve the federal government's planning for adoption of PKI technology.