Daily Management Review

Amazon's AWS Acquires Message Encrypting Service Wickr


Amazon's AWS Acquires Message Encrypting Service Wickr
The cloud computing business of Amazon - Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired the encrypted messaging platform Wickr as the company ventures into the encrypted messaging business segment.
Wickr has primarily engaged in providing services to government and military groups and enterprises and claims to by the only “collaboration service” that can meet up to the security standards that have been set out by the National Security Agency of the United States. 
The company said on Friday that the acquisition will help it to venture into the secure communication market segment with a large number of employees continue to work from home.  
Founded by secure communication, Wickr is a startup that offers to help develop self-destructing messaging technology for financial services firms and gaming companies.
None of the companies disclosed the value of the deal.
There is an increasing focus of companies on protecting their communication with business partners across remote locations as more and more businesses move on to a hybrid work environments because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The need for this type of secure communications is accelerating," said Stephen Schmidt, chief information security officer at Amazon Web Services.
AWS itself has also been trying to secure cloud contracts from government agencies and has been rivalling for long with Microsoft Corp following the later overtaking AWS to bag a multi-billion-dollar deal with Pentagon.
Wickr will continue to operate as it is by AWS and will continue to offer its services to customers of AWS “effective immediately,” said Stephen Schmidt, the VP and CISO for AWS, in a blog post announcing the news.
Schmidt said Wickr would give security-conscious enterprises and government agencies the ability to implement security controls, helping them meet their compliance requirements.
According to PitchBook data, Wickr had raised just under $60 million in a recent funding round with a valuation of less than $30 million which analysts say was an old estimate.
For the e-commerce and services giant Amazon, its cloud and enterprise division AWS has been a strong force with the business unit generating revenues of $13.5 billion in its latest completed quarter with a 32 per cent year on year growth. The net income of AWS was at $8.1 billion.
This acquisition of Wickr, which would enable amazon to offer secure communication services to the United States government, comes at a time when Amazon is still embroiled in a dispute around the $10 billion JEDI contract which provides services to the US and was given to Microsoft during the era of the former US president Donald Trump.
According to analysts, this acquisition by Amazon also increases the possibility of the company planning to make a bigger push into the messaging space which many say has been long awaited from the e-commerce giant.
Chime, a communication service that enables organizations to meet, chat, and place business calls, is currently offered by the AWS. However the service has not been a hit compared to its rival services such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. The service is also not focused on providing end-to-end encryption as Wickr does.