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Wickr secure collaboration platform picked up by AWS

Amazon Web Services has acquired Wickr, a secure cloud-based collaboration platform provider that offers what it describes as an “end-to-end encrypted, ephemeral platform … designed to protect highly sensitive communication, data, and file transfers between and throughout governmental agencies.”

Clients include the military, police departments and government agencies.

The company offers several flavors of its platform, among them Wickr RAM, which is a highly scalable version of Wickr Enterprise that features full administrative and compliance controls. It meets Department of Defense security requirements and provides a zero-trust solution, encrypted messaging, audio and video calling with screen share, large file transfers and secure storage, company officials said in April 2020 in an announcement of an Air Force Wickr deployment. All Wickr’s features use the same encryption, which is compliant with For Official Use Only (FOUO) document designation, personally identifiable information and higher levels of security.

Wickr has authorization to operate on DOD networks approved for FOUO documents on government issued and personal devices. As part of the ATO evaluation, Wickr’s secure enterprise platform was vetted on Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program-compliant AWS GovCloud. It was also tested against the Risk Management Framework to ensure it met DOD standards.

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 important as the rise of remote work exposed security vulnerabilities.

"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 said. "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."

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