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Wickr’s New ‘Global Federation’ Feature Allows E2EE Communications Between Government & Enterprise

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This article originally appeared on Enterprise Security Tech.

Wickr, one of the top secure collaboration platforms, recently announced the availability of “Global Federation”, a feature that will allow enterprise and government entities to securely communicate using end-to-end encryption (E2EE) with individual users and mission critical partners outside of their network. With Global Federation, all Wickr users across RAM, Enterprise and free Pro and Me offerings can now intercommunicate using state of the art end-to-end encryption while maintaining the highest level of security, administrative control, and compliance. This is a major step forward in securing data and communications as part of the supply chain.

We sat down with Wickr CTO and Co-Founder Chris Howell to discuss what makes Wickr standout in the collaboration platform space and the significance of Global Federation.

What is Wickr’s mission? What security challenges does Wickr solve?

Wickr’s mission is to provide the most private, secure collaboration tools in the world. We help users in federal government, commercial enterprise and consumer markets protect their most sensitive communications. Unlike most other products, where security is “bolted on” to check a box for compliance, Wickr is built with a security-first mindset that features 256-bit, authenticated end-to-end encryption (E2EE), strong user privacy protections and enterprise administrative controls. NSA recently put Wickr at the top of their list of remote collaboration services – there simply is no other product on the market that’s as secure, vetted, functional and easy to use.

With Wickr there is no service provider, or “middleman,” who can get access to user communications – not even Wickr. Our design keeps communications secure even if the back end infrastructure is breached, which is something a lot of organizations wish they had thought of before last fall and Solarwinds. We also provide the control that enterprises need to effectively manage their user base and satisfy virtually any policy or regulatory compliance regime.

How do you differentiate from other collaboration tools? From other E2EE messaging apps?

Wickr provides scale, control, and uncompromising security. Most other collaboration tools only provide one of those things. Fewer provide as much as two. Virtually none provide all three. Wickr is a true E2EE messaging platform, meaning unlike consumer-grade apps, it provides enterprises the ability to deploy at scale and take ownership and control over their secure communications strategy. We also provide flexible deployment options for all kinds of organizations, including the option to host on premise, API integration capabilities, and the ability to comply with regulatory compliance needs around message retention.

Unlike other consumer-facing encrypted messaging apps, Wickr’s value extends beyond just individuals by servicing organizations in both the commercial and federal markets. Wickr provides a full end-to-end solution for collaboration on sensitive information through encrypted talk, text, file sharing and meetings with full compliance capabilities. Wickr can be deployed by organizations in highly regulated industries (like banking, energy, healthcare and the federal government) and built to ensure the highest levels of security while adhering to complex compliance requirements. This differs substantially from the unsanctioned use of WhatsApp and other consumer applications in the federal and enterprise spaces, which creates a challenging shadow IT problem.

What is Global Federation? What does it mean for your customers?

Wickr’s Global Federation feature joins consumer, enterprise, government and military users – allowing them to communicate with the same unmatched level of data security, compliance and E2EE no matter the Wickr product they are using. Global Federation allows users to communicate with others outside of their organization, whether a Fortune 500 company or government agency, with the same level of security and compliance across the board, even if those communications cross SaaS and private-hosted boundaries. Wickr Global Federation is a shadow IT killer. Previously, if users wanted to communicate with new business partners or family and friends outside of their organization – they would need to use email, arguably the most insecure communication method or unsanctioned consumer-grade applications like WhatsApp. Neither of these options satisfy compliance needs. With Wickr Federation, this risk is mitigated.

Wickr with Global Federation is unlike any other tool on the market right now because it will enable users to maintain control of their Wickr network – their users, their policies, etc. – while also allowing their users to communicate with users on other Wickr networks spanning multiple Wickr products while maintaining full E2EE. This is vastly different from other products like Slack or Teams, where you either need to add external users to your network or accept significant additional security risk to communicate with them.

Where can users go to find out more about Global Federation?

Individuals can learn more about Global Federation by visiting:

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