AWS Acquires Encrypted Collaboration Platform Wickr
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired Wickr, the maker of a secure online collaboration platform, for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition, announced Friday, would pit AWS squarely against Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack and other collaboration and messaging services, which have dramatically risen in popularity and importance during the remote work surge caused by the pandemic.
New York-based Wickr notably counts public sector organizations, including the U.S. military, police departments and government agencies, among its customers. Its Web site describes its offerings this way:
Wickr is an end-to-end encrypted, ephemeral collaboration platform. Wickr is designed to protect highly sensitive communication, data, and file transfers between and throughout governmental agencies. All communications have the same level of security and privacy as a face-to-face conversation.
It offers several flavors of its platform, among them Wickr RAM, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Defense and is said to be "the only collaboration service with full functionality to meet all security criteria outlined by the National Security Agency."
There are also enterprise, pro and consumer editions of the product.
In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Stephen Schmidt, AWS vice president and chief information security officer, credited Wickr's "advanced security features not available with traditional communications services," particularly as the rise of remote work exposes security vulnerabilities in the way employees share data and communicate with each other.
"The need for this type of secure communications is accelerating. With the move to hybrid work environments, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises and government agencies have a growing desire to protect their communications across many remote locations," Schmidt wrote. "Wickr's secure communications solutions help enterprises and government organizations adapt to this change in their workforces and is a welcome addition to the growing set of collaboration and productivity services that AWS offers customers and partners."
Existing Wickr customers can continue to use the platform uninterrupted, Schmidt indicated, noting that "AWS is offering Wickr services effective immediately."