Exclusive Interview With Collaboration Platform Wire

Wire fills an important need in the market for virtually all organizations. We wanted our readers to learn more about this unique platform so we conducted an exclusive interview with the Rasmus Holst, chief revenue officer. We hope you find it useful.

Tell us about Wire – What do you do?

Wire is the most secure collaboration platform, serving enterprise companies, government entities, and other organizations with high cybersecurity needs. We offer a comprehensive collaboration suite containing messenger, voice, video, conference calls, file-sharing, and external collaboration — all protected by end-to-end encryption.

What is your mission statement?

Wire’s mission is to protect digital assets for businesses and organizations. We are setting new standards in the collaboration space as the most secure platform and the only solution recognized in both Forrester’s New Wave™: Secure Communications, Q4 2018 and Gartner’s Market Guide for Workstream Collaboration. 

We are constantly innovating – from delivering our unique “message fortress” architecture to encrypted video conferencing, guest rooms, and developing a new security protocol, called Messaging Layer Security (MLS).

Rasmus Holst, Chief Revenue Officer, Wire

How do you help customers?

Wire offers security for organizations looking to protect their communications, without compromising on user experience. Our collaboration suite features messenger, voice, video, conference calls, file sharing, and even secure external collaboration – all protected by end-to-end encryption. We have over 600 customers worldwide from small to medium businesses, to nongovernmental organizations and Fortune 500 companies. 

How are you different?

In our pursuit for the best combination of security and collaboration in the workplace, our focus is to set the standard the burgeoning secure collaboration category. This category targets the point at which productivity gains from messaging tools like Slack meet the very real risks of cyber attack. Wire’s approach to Open Source and public audits has earned us recognition from analyst firms including Gartner, Forrester and IDC as the way future business shall ensure transparency with customers and partners. 

This means not only democratizing secure collaboration on our own platform, but also working to create interoperability across multiple platforms. We’re working with other leaders as part of the IETF group to develop a common global security standard for secure collaboration technologies, so that users are able to operate between different messaging platforms with the same level of privacy and security that exists in Wire. The IETF group is developing Message Layer Security (MLS), a new interoperable standard for maintaining security and privacy between messaging platforms. 

The work seeks to replicate the success of WebRTC, a free, open-source project that provides web browsers and mobile applications with real-time communication via simple APIs. Alan Duric, Wire’s co-founder and CTO/COO, was one of the founding fathers of WebRTC, which today is present on over 7 billion devices. We believe that with MLS, a secure and private foundation can be extended to many more developers and devices in the future and the federation aspect of MLS will truly upend the way we communicate: whether this communication is between humans, human-to-machine or machine-to-machine.

There is a long way to go to ensure that the world’s organizations achieve all the benefits of secure collaboration, but as more and more organizations are impacted from sophisticated cyberattacks, it’s important to continue the work of re-defining collaboration, and making it fit for today’s businesses. 

How do you catch up with more established messaging platforms?

Collaboration platforms such as Slack, WhatsApp and many others have not historically focused on providing secure solutions. Rather, they have become popular because of their ease-of-use and heavy integration capabilities. However, as the threat of cyberattacks mount, we are witnessing a massive growth in industries where secure collaboration is a top priority. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen tremendous growth, with organizations such as multinational professional services firm EY selecting us as their platform, as well as companies in industries as varied as government, finance, insurance, tech and others.

How will your platform integrate with email if at all?

Wire does not have plans to integrate with email. We’re seeing organizations seeking far safer, more modern and productive forms of communication. Today, email as a work tool holds too many cyber risks for companies, with phishing scams reaching an alarming 93% success rate and cyber insurance costs growing at over 20% year over year. 

The future requires more security while also being able to extend efficient communication to colleagues, partners and consultants. The new workforce is accustomed to a new style of working. More mobile, more efficient and more instant. Something that they have come accustomed to through privately-used tools, and something that email cannot fulfill. 

Moving away from email communication into a modern and secure platform will not only save enterprises billions of dollars in insurance and decreased risk of cyber breaches, but also boost employee productivity through real-time collaboration.

Other platforms/applications? 

Wire integrates with key enterprise tools such as SSO, legal hold, retention platforms, development tools, customer management platforms and financial platforms. We can also be deployed flexibly – whether that’s in the public cloud, private cloud, or via full on-premises solutions, while also easily slotting into IT architectures with a transparent open-source codebase and open APIs.

What does the future hold for messaging such as email, chat etc. and cybersecurity?

As cybersecurity threats continue to increase and become more complex, we will begin to see more organizations move towards purpose-built secure collaboration platforms. Email, one of the traditional workhorse channels, will decline in use as a result of its susceptibility to cyberattacks and leaks (estimates state that 91% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing email). We will also see messaging platforms like Slack and WhatsApp work towards incorporating more reliable security protocols. However, it’s likely these types of platforms will continue to underperform as their main focus is to provide quick and highly integrated solutions for communication. 

What is the vendor role in privacy and cybersecurity – can most vendors be trusted?

Vendors play an important role in privacy and cybersecurity by providing tools and solutions to help companies best protect their digital assets. Unfortunately, not all vendors can be trusted to uphold that promise – the successful cyberattacks against WhatsApp are a good example of this. Any intentional flaws aside, it’s important to note that not all end-to-end encryption is created equal. There are many forms of end-to-end encryption offered by vendors, like Transport Layer Security (TLS), that does protect data at every moment of it’s journey across the internet.

With this in mind, organizations should look for vendors that operate with extreme transparency and utilize the highest form of end-to-end encryption. We are continually working to improve transparency and security – in fact, we are the only secure collaboration platform vendor that is independently audited and open source.

What is zero trust and why does it matter to business leaders?

Zero trust is an alternative architecture for IT security that operates on the premise that anything inside or outside of a corporate network, including data, devices, systems and users, is a security risk and must be checked and verified before being granted access.  

Business leaders are facing a rise in data breaches, increasingly exposed communications as mobile workforces operate outside corporate firewalls, and more stringent regulations (e.g. GDPR and CCPA) that are leading to stricter scrutinization of how companies implement and manage security protocols. The zero-trust framework works well as a defense because it’s dynamic and draws on technologies such as end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, identity access management, orchestration, analytics and other system permissions. 

What is next for your company?

Currently we’re working to develop Messaging Layer Security (MLS), a new protocol designed to facilitate more secure enterprise messaging platforms. The goal is to make secure messaging efficient for large groups (50,000 users and above) by improving security guarantees from existing protocols and enabling cross-domain/provider federation, all in a readily and easily deployable manner.

We also have ambitions to redesign the Skype for Business experience and offer a secure, distributed, end-to-end encrypted architecture for IoT networks.

How can potential customers learn more?

You can learn more about Wire by visiting our website wire.com/en or contacting us at [email protected]

We have a lot of great informational materials on our website but some quick links include: security white paper, how Wire works video, and EY use case video.

Where do organizations with $8.5 billion in total buying power plan their 2020 budgets?

Where do they learn about the latest in everything business tech… CPaaS, Collaboration, UCaaS, the Channel, IT, IOT, Edge, Cybersecurity, AI, SD-WAN, and the Future of Work?

The world’s only ITEXPO #TechSuperShow, Feb 12-14, 2020 Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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