Infusing Security into the New Normal: Communication and Collaboration in a Distributed Workforce

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COVID-19 has forced almost all businesses to function remotely.  These businesses need to protect confidential data and communications and also comply with requirements like HIPAA, FIPS, GDPR, FedRAMP, etc. This new operating environment can be very challenging for SMBs and global corporations alike.  Businesses of all sizes need to be using technologies and products designed for enterprises and their security needs; these products also provide a necessary path away from using consumer products like WeChat, WhatsApp and Telegram, which are not designed for security or enterprise use.

Kiersten Todt, Managing Director, The Cyber Readiness Institute. 

Wickr is taking the challenge of secure remote work head on by providing free access to teams, groups or administrators who want to build dedicated secure networks for up to 30 users. At Wickr, we don’t put limits on the time people can use the system for calling, videoconferencing, etc. We want to be certain that, in this time of need, any corporate team, classroom, executive team, medical office, political organization, etc. has access to everything Wickr Pro has to offer.

Wickr Pro has always been free just like free consumer email or chat tools.  The difference, of course, is that confidential communications and data are protected in Wickr Pro with “end-to-end” (E2E) encryption.  With just a few clicks, any individual anywhere in the world can start private and secure communications with their contacts on Wickr Pro.  

One of the single most important decisions an organization needs to make is whether their security requirements require E2E or “client-to-server” (C2S) encryption. While all Wickr networks are exclusively E2E, many other tools described as secure are actually C2S-based; e.g. Zoom, Slack, Skype for Business, Telegram in its default setting and many others. Some organizations are okay with “BNGE encryption” (Better than Nothing Good Enough). These tools are great for inside sales calls and remote classrooms. But there are organizations and use cases that simply cannot rely upon C2S based products.

If end to end encryption is the right path for your organization, then unlike other end to end encrypted products, Wickr Pro gives corporations, teams or administrators the unique capability to pull users into a dedicated secure network that can be managed according to group policies. Wickr Pro is the only end to end encrypted collaboration product to provide corporate controls to ensure compliance.  Further, Wickr Pro networks can be restricted for internal communications only, or administered to allow users to connect with over 10 million users collaborating across the Wickr Zero Knowledge Network worldwide. 

We want to make this fast, easy and free for any organization that needs to collaborate securely. Through strategic partnerships we’ve made it easy for large organizations to deploy at scale and the Wickr I/Ointegration engine makes it easy for them to build custom workflows, like secure chat ops.  We have partnered with industry leaders like Okta and GDIT to build a unique offering that features video conferencing that is far more secure than other products on the market that can scale up to 500 people. This makes Wickr Pro a unique solution for large scale deployments.

It’s these larger deployments where WickrPro is seeing the greatest demand and most pressing need.  The number of new Wickr Pro networks has increased 160% while registered users have grown by 780%. But the most important growth can be found in the 420% increase in the activity in existing networks. 

Wickr Pro continues to see increased and constant growth of users registering accounts and collaborating across the Wickr Zero Knowledge Network. While the U.S., U.K. and Australia are the largest user base, Wickr Pro use is growing all over the world. 

The combination of end-to-end encryption with integrations to single sign on, mobile device management, 2Factor administration and data loss prevention is powerful and built to scale for large deployments in urgent circumstances. Organizations who take security seriously are just now starting to experience the demands of ‘maximized telework. In many ways this parallels the way Wickr Pro is often built into disaster recovery (DR) strategies.  

Right now we are helping organizations put plans into motion. These large enterprise deployments, whether SaaS or on-premise, take enterprise level support.  We’ve taken great pride in our customer service and this certainly won’t change now when remote communications are critical and are eager to extend our free offerings beyond the 30 user threshold for .edu, .mil and .gov customers.

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