CCUSA provides “working holidays” and other employment opportunities to international students and adults around the globe. Headquartered in Sausalito, California, the company works with hundreds of independent agents worldwide to coordinate visa applications and place participants in summer camps, professional skills-building programs, and other short-term positions in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Brazil, and Russia. Since the company was founded in 1985, CCUSA has served over 200,000 participants worldwide.

Challenge: Give Individuals the Confidence to Apply Online

As an internationally recognized provider of overseas employment opportunities, CCUSA makes it a top priority to offer a superior program experience. This commitment to quality starts with the very first step in participating in one of the company’s programs—filling out an online application form.

In fact, CCUSA offers an application process that can be completed entirely online. “When students apply for our programs, they give us their name, date of birth, citizenship status, passport details, and a lot of other extremely sensitive information,” says Martin McNally, Senior Software Engineer at CCUSA. “This speeds up the application process and cuts down on paperwork, but it also means that we’re responsible for processing the confidential data of more than 20,000 applicants every year.”

In addition to providing their personal information online, individuals can use the CCUSA website to pay program application fees. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to apply to our programs online, but we also knew that we had to make our system as secure as possible,” McNally says. “If data is lost or stolen, it’s not only a major headache for our applicants, but also a serious problem for our company as a whole. If people don’t trust us, they’re not going to apply to our programs.”

In order to protect personal information and payments, as well as bolster its reputation as a company that participants could trust, CCUSA needed to find an SSL Certificate solution that offered brand name recognition at an affordable price.

Solution: The Green Bar Instills Even More Trust

When the company first decided to secure its website using SSL Certificates, CCUSA implemented a solution that proved to be too expensive. “We wanted to offer strong security that people would be familiar with but it also had to be cost-effective, so we needed to strike a balance between name recognition and price,” McNally says. After researching several providers, McNally opted for GeoTrust. “After doing some research, I found that GeoTrust offered excellent name recognition at a price that was very competitive.”

McNally also wanted to provide a highly visible cue that the CCUSA website is secure and trustworthy, so he selected GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV (extended validation). “By using a GeoTrust SSL Certificate with EV, applicants get an added sense of security because they can see our name in a green bar in their browser,” he says. “EV makes it much more obvious that we care about security, so the investment has been completely worth it.”

CCUSA also uses GeoTrust SSL Certificates to encrypt data transmissions to the United States government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). “We are required by law to supply applicants’ passport information to the SEVIS system,” says McNally. “SEVIS mandates SSL security, so GeoTrust not only protects our participants’ information, but it also helps us comply with a key governmental requirement.”

In addition to helping to ensure CCUSA meets strict security standards, GeoTrust also offers an easy to manage implementation process, allowing McNally to install the company’s new SSL Certificates quickly and easily. “After purchasing the GeoTrust Certificates online, they took just a few moments to install,” says McNally. “We deployed our GeoTrust SSL Certificates three years ago and haven’t experienced any problems with the certificates or our site’s security since then.”

Results: Offering Better Security While Lowering Costs

Since implementing GeoTrust True BusinessID with EV on its website, CCUSA has been able to offer increased security to program applicants, building trust in its website while reducing the cost of online security. By using GeoTrust, CCUSA has also been able to set itself apart from its competitors. “People choose CCUSA because they can apply to our programs and manage their placement experience online,” McNally says. “Now, not only do we offer the most innovative online tools, but GeoTrust also gives us strong, highly visible security. That gives us a definite advantage over our competitors, and helps make us the technology leaders in our field.”

Future: Securing Additional Websites

In the future, CCUSA plans to implement GeoTrust EV SSL Certificates on more of its websites, including its members’ portal, a website where program participants can check their flight data and see other important information. “Online security has always been important to us, and it’s increasingly important to our participants,” says McNally. “We’ve experienced great results with our SSL security, so we’re definitely going to stay with GeoTrust.”

 

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