Slack has launched the Enterprise Key Management (EKM) – a tool helps businesses create their own security keys and gives them control over the encryption and decryption of conversations, files and the data they share over its workplace communication platform Slack.
This security measure was announced last fall at the Slack Developer Conference Frontiers. Slack’s Head of Product April Underwood described it as a tool that delivers the promise of on-premise security with the benefits of the cloud. Product development for Enterprise Key Management started 15 months ago.
The EKM has been built internally, but it relies on Amazon’s KMS to manage encryption and decryption keys. Organizations can control an additional layer of encryption without interfering with the operation of Slack apps.
“So today all data in Slack is encrypted at rest and in transit — but in rest, specifically. We, of course, have keys to those, and this now puts that control in the customer’s hands,” Slack’s Head of Enterprise Product Ilan Frank told VentureBeat in a phone interview.“It’s a feature that our large customers have been asking for for a very long time.”
“So it’s really at the end of the day that EKM comes with a promise that it really can’t fulfill. So what we did instead is … use key parts in order to create a key, and that key part is created from an organization ID, a workspace ID, a channel ID, and an hour ID,” he said. “That granularity now makes EKM something that provides utility rather than just an empty promise.”
This launch comes about a month after Slack confidentially filed for an IPO (Initial Public Offering).
This is the latest feature upgrade on the Slack product development roadmap, following the introduction last month of Slack’s Block Kit to simplify the Slack app design process and add rich features like photos and videos. EKM is likely to appeal to privacy-conscious organizations such as banks and companies that deal with large amounts of intellectual property.