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Punahou School

Punahou School

When Virtru proved to be too difficult and time-consuming to implement effectively, Punahou School turned to Paubox for seamless, “always on” email encryption.

Punahou School, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the largest single-campus private school in the country, serving approximately 4,000 students. It has a long and prestigious tradition and counts President Barack Obama among its alumni. 

The school combines dedication to scholarly achievement with a focus on the importance of place to create its unique philosophy of “educational reflection and renewal.”

Founded in Hawaii, Paubox retains a strong sense of connection and dedication to Hawaii’s residents, business, and schools. Punahou’s partnership with Paubox has brought encrypted email to the school’s faculty and staff so it can continue to support and develop the future’s brightest minds.



Company snapshot

  • Founded in 1841
  • Number of locations: 1
  • Paubox customer since 2020



Use case

  • Transmit PHI over email in a reliable, secure way

    Used solution


  • Take the guesswork out of email encryption
  • Reduce staff and faculty training to learn how to use the email security tool 
  • Maximize the time faculty and staff spend on their main mission: educating students and supporting the school

Used solution

Favorite features

  • No need for staff training
  • Secure encryption
  • Easy to use




Punahou School takes email security seriously. Using email to transmit information from school administration, faculty, and staff to students, parents, government agencies, and other stakeholders sometimes means sending confidential information. 

Virtru, Punahou’s previous email encryption tool, was challenging to use.


“Our largest friction with the previous solution was training people on how to use it and when to use it. There was a large administrative overhead to administer and support the tool,” said Beau Monday, Punahou’s Chief Information Security Officer.


Virtru is a plugin-based tool. The IT team needed to make sure each staff and faculty member had the plugin installed and knew how to use it correctly. Installation, training, and support ate up significant IT time.



Punahou School is dedicated to supporting Hawaiian-grown companies like Paubox. In addition, the Paubox team boasts several Punahou school alumni among its ranks. Taking a look at what Paubox had to offer was a natural fit. 

Paubox Email Suite Standard had everything the school was looking for. This HIPAA compliant email solution does not require users to use a plugin or log in through a portal. Every email is protected with transport layer security (TLS) encryption – all a user needs to do is click “send.” Paubox Email Suite Standard is also HITRUST CSF Certified, the gold standard in the industry.


“[Paubox Email Suite] was the only solution that offered transparent encryption that didn’t require plugins or training,” Monday said. 


The implementation process was simple, and the Paubox team demonstrated the encrypted email solution for Punahou. “It worked well. The feedback from our staff has been positive,” Monday said. 

Paubox offers great value for Punahou School. First, it has reduced the training requirements around email encryption. There is nothing that email senders have to do or remember in order to encrypt their emails. “Our previous solution relied on the staff person knowing whether to turn it on or not,” Monday explained.

Since Paubox encrypts all emails by default, the chance of confidential information being accidentally sent over unencrypted email is eliminated. 

In addition, the school’s IT staff doesn’t need to spend hours each week on plugin installation and training. With Paubox, Punahou School’s faculty and staff can focus on what’s important – serving its students.



When Punahou was using Virtru for email security, only 20 percent of the staff had access to encryption through the Virtru plugin. 

Now, all 1,000 staff and faculty emails are seamlessly encrypted with Paubox. Since February 2020, Punahou has sent more than 1.7 million emails, 100 percent of which were encrypted with Paubox.



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