Beyond the Pitch

Wiretap Helps Enterprises Make Social Networks More Secure

The co-founders of Wiretap originally got to know each other working in the corporate industry. And then they became entrepreneurs.

Wiretap’s four co-founders, who have backgrounds in technology and software engineering, began the solution that became Wiretap at Stauf’s coffee shop in Columbus.

“We recognized that the whole world was evolving,” said Jeff Schumann, CEO. “The enterprise was changing. Employees were talking and wanted new, collaborative solutions. Work was not just getting done in the office; employees wanted to access content where ever they were. They were looking for ways to communicate and collaborate around the clock.”

Over many weekends and many cups of Arabica brew, they designed and built a platform to make it easier for enterprise companies to gain visibility to the good and not-good happenings across their technologies.

Wiretap addresses security issues that CIOs and chief security officers think about every day.

As collaborative social networks and mobile devices have become ubiquitous, it’s changed the way employees want to work and the way they do their jobs.

Enterprises seek to capitalize on the trend, recognizing the benefits of Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs). For example, companies that deploy Office 365® with Yammer® want to grow their ESNs as broadly as possible. They want to encourage employees to collaborate safely without creating a barrier to adoption. However, they are understandably wary of misuse and want to have appropriate controls in place.

“Every CIO and chief security officer are concerned about cyber security,” Schumann said, “and they have budgets to pay for it.”

What’s at risk?

Intellectual property or confidential data leaks, HR policy violations, compliance failures, or even insider trading or exiting employees pirating customer lists. Monitoring for and detecting security risks such as these is difficult with so many different types of data, especially when it includes private messages and files. Old methods of addressing security aren’t such a good fit.

Wiretap software, which can be installed onsite or in the cloud, continuously analyzes all conversations and file content that moves across the enterprise social network, providing the information that allows enterprises to identify and eliminate threats.

“More than 65 percent of the threats relative to company security come from the inside,” Schumann said. “These are not all threats of intent. Sometimes it’s just an employee sharing something they should not share. Maybe they send an Excel spreadsheet without realizing that there are customer account numbers back on page fifteen.”

Wiretap adds more than “just” security.

“Using data to prevent malicious attacks or accidental security violations is one side of what we do,” Schumann said. “The other side is adding value to the employees, shining a light on messaging trends allows the company to organize in the best possible way for employees to do their work as well as preventing systemic issues from growing.”

Studying how people actually work together has the potential to help organizations become more efficient as well as doing that are helpful to employees.

From coffee to coding to customers.

Wiretap has grown swiftly, from those weekend work sessions in the coffee shop, bootstrapping with large customers (the target is 5000 to 200,000 employees) that include nationally recognized brands in financial services, pharmaceuticals, and consulting, for example.

“When we started Wiretap, we had the right people to engineer and me to focus on the market and the customers,” Schumann said. “Because of our experience in the enterprise space we understood that people were going to use social media like Yammer, Slack, and Facebook to communicate, that the larger issue wasn’t going away.”

Once Wiretap had a product, Schumann said people started to get word of what he and his co-founders were doing. When Microsoft sales teams in India heard about Wiretap, things got exciting.

“Wiretap solves an immediate gap that helps better sell Office 365 and Yammer into large enterprises that are worried about having the right controls in place,” said Schumann. “Microsoft started pitching us in India, bringing in some large consulting companies.”

With one full-time co-founder and three others working two jobs, Wiretap sales reached seven figures in the company’s first few months.

“We are moving to gain market share fast,” Schumann said. “We are building our presence and brand. Most of all, we’re working to hire the right people.

Wiretap on-boarded a COO, expanded customer service and sales and hired engineers to build out the platform. Wiretap supports Yammer and Office 365 Groups.  Slack, Workplace by Facebook, and Microsoft Teams will be available later this year.

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