In the workplace, communication boosts important measurables such as employee productivity and satisfaction, and reduces a company’s turnover rate. As the saying goes, “Communication is key,” and companies have long been looking to facilitate more effective internal communication. “Did you get the memo?” has evolved from actual paper memos to emails, and now to enterprise social networks (ESNs) such as Yammer and Facebook Workplace, along with team-based messaging technologies like Slack. But as internal communication and file sharing possibilities expand, so do the chances for security breaches. Wiretap in Columbus, Ohio, is creating a lot of buzz with its ESN security solution.
“Almost all big corporations are using one of the latest and greatest messaging and collaboration services as a sort of ‘digital watercooler’ for employees to communicate and share ideas. Many of these corporations also deal with sensitive information. More than 65 percent of the threats to a company’s security comes from the inside,” said Jeff Schumann, co-founder and CEO of Wiretap. “It could be a compliance failure, an HR policy violation, or the sharing of sensitive client data, intentionally or not. Wiretap’s like a security net which analyzes collaboration and conversation to flag potential threats and eliminate risk to your company.”
Wiretap software continuously analyzes communication between employees, whether via text communication or file sharing. It only flags and saves what is identified as a potential threat or abnormality, to avoid storing massive amounts of data. The software’s algorithms are intuitive, built to recognize keywords and files sent to establish trends, and determine irregularities. Wiretap software can be installed on-site or in the cloud and currently works with Microsoft Yammer, but is expanding to Slack and Workplace by Facebook by the end of 2017.
The software was built by four co-founders with different experiences in the corporate world. They each recognized the need for a solution like Wiretap after pitching communication solution technologies to their superiors, but getting turned them down because of potential HR or security missteps. They left their jobs and spent the next year working out of a local coffee shop, piecing together what would soon be Wiretap—a company reaching seven figures in revenue within just a few months. They currently have 17 employees with plans to expand.
The promise of Wiretap’s technology has garnered a lot of attention within the technology community, and investors have responded accordingly. Wiretap has received substantial support from the Ohio Innovation Fund, JumpStart and Rev1 Ventures, all regional partners of Ohio Third Frontier, as well as private investment from Draper Triangle Ventures. The digital security company will use the funds to establish a dedicated sales department and further grow its development team to continue evolving its platform.
“The support we’ve received has been unbelievable, and it’s going to help us continue to grow. We’re the perfect example of why the Midwest, especially Ohio, is the ideal place to build a company,” said Schumann. “Our living costs are low compared to traditional startup hotspots on the coasts, but we’re also close enough to make short trips back and forth. There are major companies and universities here, so we have access to top talent. We’re in the ideal spot growing a business in Ohio.”