Introducing the Wire Messenger\nNobody wants their emails leaking. It\u2019s personally embarrassing and if you\u2019re a business \u2013 humans being what they are \u2013 likely to result in reputational risk that registers on the Richter scale.\n\nDespite this, email \u2013 a system of communication built with zero privacy at its heart \u2013 still dominates business communications, even in a post-Snowden, hack-happy era in which few secrets are sacred.\n\nIf Wire CEO Morten Br\u00f8gger has his way however, not for much longer.\n\n\n\nAs chief executive of the privately held company \u2013 backed by Skype veteran Janus Friis\u2019s venture capital fund Iconical \u2013 he is gunning hard for a piece of the secure enterprise communications market.\n\nHe told Computer Business Review: "Email has peaked.\u00a0The email stack was not written with security in mind. Security is written on top of it and is often clunky to use."\n\nHe adds: "Business email users also get a lot of emails they don\u2019t want and moreover the generation coming through simply don\u2019t use email. I live in the US and my children in Copenhagen. If I send an email I\u2019m not going to get a reply; it's just not what they'd use."\nNot Yet Profitable, but Growing Fast\nWire can be used for group\/team messaging as well as one-to-one. It regularly adds new features; most recently including a \u201csecure guest rooms\u201d feature.\u00a0The platform works across Android and iOS apps, as well as desktop.\n\nAfter some initial teething problems it is now growing at what the former telecoms executive says is \u201cfive to seven percent each week\u201d \u2013 although he admits it is some years from profitability.\n\nSo what is Wire, how secure is it \u2013 and what are Br\u00f8gger\u2019s plans?\nDistributed Encryption Architecture\nThe collaboration platform uses a distributed encryption architecture.\n\nEach entity\/device has its own encryption key that gets updated with each message, whether that is a text, file share or conference call, using Proteus,\u00a0an implementation of the axolotl protocol (Double Ratchet algorithm) without header keys.\n\nThe idea is ephemerality: as Br\u00f8gger puts in in a call with Computer Business Review: \u201cEach message is a fortress. Imagine taking the time to crack something and all you get is a single message saying \u2018are we on for next week\u2019? After that, the key has reset.\u201d\n\nHe adds: \u201cAll the security is distributed onto the devices. The encryption keys only exists on the devices of our customers. We don\u2019t have a copy and can\u2019t look over shoulders. If we get hacked, people can\u2019t see anything.\u201d\n\n(Wire's independent implementation of the\u00a0Open Whisper System-developed Double Ratchet, written by Br\u00f8gger's team in Rust, was not without its hiccups. As a May 2016 blog by Wire CTO Alan Duric reveals, it resulted in a legal dispute with Open Whisper's Moxie Marlinspike that was ultimately settled out of court; all now in the past).\n\nCan We Audit That?\n\n\n\nThe information security world is one that is red in tooth and claw; vulnerabilities are pounced on mercilessly and reputations can be trashed fast.\n\nWire has tried to gainsay any critics by ratcheting up its transparency: all of its code is now open source and available on GitHub\u00a0- and the company is admirably honest about any bugs.\u00a0Every year it hires an independent security consultancy to audit its code then publishes the unexpurgated findings within five days\n\n"We want to drive a change in the communication industry where regular security audits become not only the best practice but a new norm. It is not good enough to advertise audits from years ago when the whole code base of your product has changed. It is also not good enough to publish glossy executive summaries of non-public security audits of solutions that are not even open source", the company says.\n\n(The most recent, by Kudelski Security and X41, available for\u00a0\u200aAndroid Client,\u00a0\u200aiOS Client and\u00a0Web, Calling\u00a0found two high severity vulnerabilities and eight medium severity ones, all now fixed).\nThe Route to Profitability\nFollowing a growing cascade of leaks and hacks, businesses are growing increasing concerned about protecting communications; whether internal or external and\u00a0Br\u00f8gger told Computer Business Review that he was excited by the future.\n\n"We now have couple of hundred government, non-profit and business customers and some very interesting customers reaching out to us, including some top ten pharmaceutical companies, top five private banks and large government institutions with hundreds of users."\n\nThe company does not run adverts and aims to make money through subscriptions, which are priced at as little as\u00a0\u20ac4 per month.\n\nThe focus, beyond raising visibility, is on new features and call quality. Users of encrypted messengers will know that reliability can be patchy and\u00a0Br\u00f8gger is frank about where and when this happens.\n\nHe told Computer Business Review: "Each user on Wire can have up to eight devices. Each will have their own encryption key. Let\u2019s say that there are 10 people on a conference call;\u00a0 and they have on average four devices connected to Wire, that\u2019s 40 encryption keys and 40X encryption that happens on a conference call. If one is on a low bandwith connection, it can give issues."\n\nHe adds: "That said, I use it myself regularly including from my car on networks in Denmark that are not always the best and reliability has been good. Any issues I shake my iPhone and it sends a log to our dev team immediately."\n\nThe 65-strong team, based primarily in Berlin, look set to be kept on their toes as the company grows. So what's the end-game? An IPO?\n\nBr\u00f8gger is reluctant to answer but a fundamental honesty wins out: "We have a good pipeline of clients and are looking for more.\u00a0At some point down the road there may be a new owner, perhaps a larger software company. The most likely exit is an M&A not an IPO. Whatever is fantastic for the company is the answer, but that's not on the horizon right now."\n\nWith that, he's off on a plane to catch up in person with those email-ignoring but hopefully Wire-answering children.