AWS Public Sector Blog

Wickr, an AWS company, offers a secure and compliant solution to protect organizational communications

To offer security conscious enterprises and government agencies the ability to implement important governance and security controls, Amazon Web Services (AWS) acquired Wickr in June of 2021. Wickr—now an AWS company—helps organizations protect their collaboration with a secure and compliant solution. Wickr delivers advanced security features not available with traditional communications services.

Built with a security-first mindset, communication mechanisms such as one-to-one and group messaging, audio and video calling, screen sharing, and file sharing are protected with 256-bit end-to-end encryption. Within global federation, organizations can also collaborate with external stakeholders with the same level of privacy and security they enjoy internally. Customers can choose from three different services to find the right solution for their needs: Wickr Pro, Wickr Enterprise, and Wickr RAM.

All user data is encrypted on the sender’s device and only the intended recipient can access it, reducing the risk of person-in-the-middle (PITM) attacks. No one—including Wickr or AWS—has the keys to decrypt conversations or documents, giving users full control over their data.

To allow organizations to remain compliant with industry regulations including General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), HIPAA, and PCI, Wickr gives IT administrators greater control over their collaboration environment. Information that must be maintained for HIPAA, FINRA, FOIA, FRA, e-discovery, and auditing purposes can be selectively logged to a secure, customer-defined data store as required. Users maintain full administrative control over all data, including controlling permissions, setting expiration timers, and defining security groups. Wickr is able to integrate with additional services such as Active Directory, SSO via OIDC, MDM, and more.

Public sector customers from around the world rely on Wickr every day to communicate and collaborate effectively and securely.

Customers find flexibility and security in Wickr

The United States Air Force (USAF) works with sensitive military communications every day that require complete security from both foreign and domestic cyber threats. Wickr is accredited by the US Department of Defense (DoD) as the only US-based collaboration service with full functionality to meet all security criteria assessed by the National Security Agency (NSA), and is an Air Force Cloud One and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) cloud-certified fully managed service provider. “Government cloud-secured Wickr applications enable secure mobile collaboration down at the tactical edge and higher to enable mission success. This fills major mobility collaboration gaps and there is no other DoD approved system at scale,” said Todd Wieser, chief technology officer at the AFSOC.

Beyond the DoD, law enforcement also relies on Wickr to command, control, and coordinate mission operations. Lieutenant Jon Bowers has been a law enforcement officer for 30 years, 26 of which have been with the Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) in Indiana. In this role, Bowers has overseen the planning and execution of hundreds of operations—from small-unit controlled drug buy to multi-agency roundup service of dozens of arrests and search warrants. “The first rule of planning and execution: Without communications, you have nothing. And if your communications plan is broken, it is one of the first things to fix,” said Lieutenant J. Bowers. Wickr has become essential to FWPD in its day-to-day operations. With Wickr, FWPD can now coordinate real-time situational awareness and target acquisition between the field and the operations center all while relaying information quickly to responding teams. For example, group calling in presentation mode allows FWPD to live screen share of annotated overhead maps or live drone video to mission room personnel, supporting real-time, secure collaboration and communication.

The native security and real-time collaboration were also critical factors determining the choice of Wickr by the nonprofit Freedom Shield Foundation (FSF). The FSF works with an operational partner to help rescue thousands of women and children from human trafficking. The nonprofit also provides advanced trauma care to the rescued survivors. This work requires secure, timely collaboration around the world—especially in places where communications are heavily surveilled by local governments and terrorist organizations. With Wickr, FSF has successfully collaborated in real time to coordinate missions, track assets, and ultimately deliver on their mission to rescue women and children from human trafficking. As one member of the FSF team said, “Wickr has kept us safe. There is a lot of risk out there, but this is one thing we don’t have to worry about.”

Trusted by millions worldwide

Organizations in the US and abroad rely on Wickr to deliver on their missions. Wickr is compliant with GDRP regulations, which allows customers across the EU to communicate securely across operations. For example, the Cybercrime Division of the Bundeskriminalamt (German Federal Criminal Police Office) turned to Wickr to keep its operations running during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Wickr, the Cybercrime Division increased and maintained its collaboration effectively to 80-85% versus the rest of the agency’s rate of 20%. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the German Federal Criminal Police Office needed a way to maintain its work, even while remote. The Cybercrime Division decided to automate tasks with a Wickr IO integration gateway to build a series of “WickrBots” to perform critical operations and workflows. These “WickrBots” help the Cybercrime Division track current working status and work progress as agents, developers, and support personnel report status to another WickrBot, which provides information on demand to other agents.

Millions of customers and users worldwide rely on Wickr to improve workflows, collaborate securely, and communicate without compromise. Visit wickr.com to learn more.

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AWS Public Sector Blog Team

AWS Public Sector Blog Team

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the AWS Public Sector blog team writes for the government, education, and nonprofit sector around the globe. Learn more about AWS for the public sector by visiting our website (https://aws.amazon.com/government-education/), or following us on Twitter (@AWS_gov, @AWS_edu, and @AWS_Nonprofits).