AWS purchased Wickr, an end-to-end encrypted messaging platform geared towards corporations and government organizations.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making its foray into the secure communication market. Amazon’s cloud service provider has acquired Wickr, an encrypted messaging platform that’s built for government officials, major corporations, and military organizations.
AWS Dives Into the Secure Messaging Scene
In a post on the AWS Security Blog, Amazon announced that Wickr will be joining the Amazon team. Wickr provides its users with end-to-end encrypted communication, whether that consists of text messaging, video or voice calls, and document sharing. It also supports self-destructing messages, which is something that mainstream messaging apps have only just started implementing.
On its site, Wickr states that it’s “the only collaboration service with full functionality to meet all security criteria outlined by the National Security Agency.” This is probably why it’s so popular with high-profile agencies, including the US Department of Defense and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Amazon’s move to buy Wickr comes at a time when more companies are looking for secure messaging solutions while its employees are working from home. Stephen Schmidt, the vice president and chief information security officer at AWS commented on what Wickr will bring to AWS, saying:
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. 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.
AWS previously only offered one messaging service: Chime. While the feature is great for online meetings and virtual conferences, it doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption.
Wickr doesn’t just provide secure messaging for militaries, governments, and corporations, however. Anyone can use the free version of the platform to take advantage of encrypted messaging. Amazon says that the acquisition will go into effect “immediately,” but this won’t affect any existing Wickr users.
What Does the Acquisition Mean for Amazon?
AWS’s purchase of Wickr can mean many things. Amazon may hope to build off of Wickr’s platform, and provide a secure, user-friendly messaging platform for all consumers. Conversely, it may even choose to focus solely on providing encrypted communication for major organizations.
But with the rise of secure messaging apps like Signal, it may be hard for Amazon to resist trying to create one of its own.
Image Credit: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons
Want to know if the apps you use support end-to-end encryption? If they do, you’ll find them here.
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