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EC20 Innovation Showcase: Securing Communications

Next week as part of the Enterprise Connect Digital Expo, we’ll be featuring our annual Innovation Showcase, with this year’s theme on enterprise communications and collaboration security. Today I am pleased to present the four companies selected for the showcase.
The EC20 Innovation Showcase participants are:
  • AGAT Software – This UCC security and compliance provider offers SphereShield RegTech, a solution that performs real-time analysis of messages, files, audio, and video for policy enforcement as may be required by organizational or sector compliance
  • Journey – This zero knowledge identity service provider, which came out of stealth earlier this year, offers an innovative approach to verifying or authenticating identity across the customer journey. Journey already has earned recognition as the 2020 Best of Enterprise Connect Award winner.
  • Theta Lake – offering an AI-based digital compliance platform for video, audio, and chat, Theta Lake works with leading UCaaS providers to automate the detection of regulatory compliance, conduct, and identify data leak risks
  • Wire – A secure collaborative communications provider that offers messaging, voice and video calling, and file-sharing services protected with end-to-end encryption
To learn more about these companies, join me at the Innovation Showcase booth on the Digital Expo floor (event registration required).
Why Security?
As organizations expand communications over more channels and services the challenge of security becomes both more important and difficult. Conversations now span multiple modalities and multiple services — all of which introduce new vulnerabilities.
When Apple launched the first iPhone, then-CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated visual voicemail live on stage. He played a message from Tim Cook, the CFO at the time, that was about to reveal the quarter’s financial results. It was a playful ruse, but what if he had accidentally revealed confidential information, during trading hours, on a live keynote? Let’s just say the iPhone wouldn’t have been the lead story out of the event.
The Twitter hack earlier this month could have been, and still might be, devastating. We still don’t have all the details, but it appears to be the work of some unsophisticated hackers that got access to Twitter’s internal controls. This allowed them to hack from the inside, bypassing user credentials to access accounts.
These hackers had the power to swing global markets, but squandered their superpowers on a silly bitcoin gambit that fooled few people. Consider this: In 2013, hackers got out a single tweet on the Associated Press account that caused the Dow to plunge more than 140 points. Reuters estimated that the sell-off erased $126.5 billion just within the S&P 500. This month’s hackers could have caused at least 10 times the impact with several high-profile Twitter accounts collaborating such an event. If they had decided to do that, I think it would have been a modern-day version of the widespread panic caused by the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast.
The point of all this is that enterprise communications are more susceptible to hackers than ever before. The modern communications stack involves a combination of private and public services. Our conversations are increasingly transcribed in real-time. Our colleagues are using their own personal devices, often over insecure networks. Our workflows are rapidly shifting to online tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack that contain both conversations and content.
This is exactly why we selected security and privacy as the theme for this year’s Innovation Showcase at Enterprise Connect. Every year, the showcase identifies innovative new companies per a specific theme. By new, I don’t mean the companies themselves are necessarily new, but they have not previously exhibited at Enterprise Connect. As a result, we normally have very different companies in the Innovation Showcase than in the Best of EC award competition — in fact, with Journey, this is the first year that’s not true.
I would like to thank all of the companies that applied for consideration, as well the judges who evaluated the applications. This year’s judges were:
  • Jonathon Clark, a senior IT solutions architect at US Bank who has extensive experience in contact center, telephony security, and real-time communications
  • David “Davo” Muttiah, who is responsible for the CRM and contact center solutions at CARFAX; he has extensive experience in business process improvements, business case development, and real-time interactions
  • Sorell Slaymaker, principal consulting analyst at Tekvision Research
See all the Enterprise Connect Digital Expo sponsors and exhibitors, and join me next week for the Innovation Showcase!