- Screenshot notifications for mobile
- 1:1 encrypted phone calling with video and screen share
- Enterprise and compliance features available
- No support for Windows 7 or Google Chromebook
- Potential for FOIA violations if not deployed properly
- No external integrations yet available
Wickr Pro is a newly developed secure collaboration and communication tool built on encryption elements that work to mitigate data breaches. Now focusing on entering the Congressional sphere, Wickr’s team has deployed the platform for state political parties, campaigns, and private sector clients.
Wickr Pro’s user interface configuration is similar to Slack (a popular workplace communication tool). However, messages sent between teams and individuals never live on servers in an unencrypted format and are deleted from end-user devices after a predetermined time. All information on the Wickr servers is encrypted to government-grade encryption.
On Wickr Pro, users can communicate with teams via encrypted text, voice, video and conference calling. Wickr also allows for file transfer (up to 5 GB). Administrators can quickly and easily provision and deprovision new users and set up ephemerality settings that are consistent with your organization’s information governance policies. Unlike free encrypted apps available in the app store, Wickr also has robust customer support.
Emojis and GIFs are supported on the Wickr Pro platform while offering the ability to transmit files between individual users through direct messages or in team chats. Impressively, up to 5 gigabytes can be transmitted through the file upload feature, making collaboration even more of a breeze.
Wickr Pro has a built in calling interface. Users can collaborate through the application’s video conferencing, conference calling, and self-deleting voice memo features. Plus, screen sharing is available so that teams can take their collaborative requirements a step further.
Wickr Administration controls provide quickly and easily user provisioning and de-provisioning through LDAP/Active Directory and soon Single Sign On and establish network wide ephemerality settings that are consistent with your organization’s information governance policies.
Security and cross-platform use
Wickr Pro is available on Android and iOS mobile devices. Mobile functionality, in this regard, is responsive with a user experience like the desktop app. Programmed security protocols still apply to Wickr Pro on mobile devices, as well. However, screenshot notifications are built in as an extra layer of security. If a screenshot occurs on a particular thread, a bot reveals the user’s name and a preview of the screenshot image.
Wickr Pro is phasing out Windows 7 and today does not support Google Chromebooks. The Windows 7 phase out is to reflect the advancement of technology in the private sector and government. Chromebook support is in consideration for the future (especially given that Chromebooks are now the “go-to” computers for cybersecurity). Plus, Wickr Pro doesn’t have any external integrations with CRM software, social media management tools, or other SaaS applications. However, Wickr is currently offering early access to their WickrAPI and WickBOT capabilities which allows for integration with business workflows platforms and solutions.
Congress and transparency
Wickr isn’t approved to sell their products to members and has yet to complete the process to become an approved vendor in the House of Representatives. Luckily, they are approved for use in the Senate at this time.
One of the main challenges Wickr faces is addressing concerns of transparency and compliance. Members of Congress aren’t subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act; however, they must follow a particular set of ethics rules governing transparency and public need-to-know. Wickr assured us that they can host their products on-location and create environments that comply with public information regulations.
The pricing for the platform is inexpensive for qualifying organizations. Wickr Pro costs $5 per user per month for political campaigns, legislative offices, nonprofit groups, and other political organizations (e.g., state parties, national committees, PACs). Traditional private sector clients are charged $25 per user per month. Enterprise options are available.
What we think
Wickr Pro is a tool that can be used in several capacities. With private sector and political clients already in their portfolio, Wickr could be a cybersecurity game changer for Congress. Until the company receives an approval to sell a unified product directly to member offices, the need for a proprietary solution to cybersecurity is lacking. We’ll update this review once new developments surrounding Wickr’s push into the Congressional market surface. You never know, it might be worth your attention–and the wait.