Skiff co-founders Andrew Milich (left) and Jason Ginsberg (right) are developing an end-to-end encrypted workwear suit. They came together while organizing a hackathon at Stanford.
“Google, Amazon, and Facebook have transformed the personal individual’s experience to the basis that is the basis of digital economics.” Skiff’s Chief Technology Officer Jason Ginsberg says.
The world requires an alternative workspace suite that isn’t Google and Microsoft, according to Dan Guido, a long-time user of Skiff, a secure and secure email service that is end-to-end encrypted. Skiff is now taking an essential step towards becoming a more secure and secure alternative to G-suite by introducing end-to-end secured Calendar and Drive items to their suite. It is also a suite of email and collaborative documents called Skiff Pages.
“Google will be able to read all the documents you’ve written in,” says Guido, CEO of cybersecurity company Trail Of Bits. “They can look through every email you send to Google. They apply machine learning to it. They incorporate it into a massive model, which they use to generate ads. However, Skiff is unable to do any of this.”
Although it cannot provide users with complete protection from surveillance or hackers, end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is an approach to secure data transmission by encrypting it before transferring it between devices the next. It guarantees that no one other than the receiver and the sender can see or access the data as it is being transferred. The number of services that utilize E2EE is proliferating, and tech giants such as Apple as well as Meta (the parent firm behind Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp) are using it as the default option for instant messaging, as well as privacy-focused businesses like Signal, Telegram and ProtonMail are gaining popularity. By 2021 Proton will reach the milestone of 50 million users. Signal had the number of 40 million active users, and Telegram has greater than 500 million users.
Despite the massive interest in E2EE messaging apps, law enforcement agencies scrutinize and criticize the security approach for covering up criminal and illegal activities. While many companies have concentrated on creating platforms for messaging and email, Skiff is one of the few working on developing an E2EE collaborative platform. Although Skiff has a few neo-traditional features and products, such as its encryption-encrypted messaging platform, the company has added 300,000 new users in the past six months.
In April 2020, the company was founded to be launched on May 20, 2022, by 25-year-old co-founders Andrew Milich and Jason Ginsberg. Skiff offers productivity tools such as Pages, Email, Calendar, and Drive free, as well as through paid plans that offer additional perks such as storage. Customers pay a monthly fee of $8.50 for 100GB of storage or 12 dollars per month for 1 Tb of space. The co-founders of the company, named Forbes 30 under 30 alums, met while organizing a hackathon at Stanford University. The pair manages a team comprising 15 employees spread worldwide in countries such as Egypt and Israel. With the backing of Sequoia Capital, Skiff has received funding of $23 million and is backed by several leaders in the field of privacy, such as Signal’s Chief Technology Officer Ehren Kret.
The biggest challenge when creating an encryption-enabled version of Google Workspace is the complexity of different encryption kinds of data. “Cryptography is an extremely fragile technology. For instance, when it is working well, it’s fantastic. But, there’s an issue that is minor enough to cause the system not to be effective,” Guido says.
Skiff is still working on rolling out its essential features for emails, like automatic filtering, which can help sort out promotional emails and clean the inbox. Although users can make labels and folders for email, Skiff doesn’t allow users to design a feature that automatically puts certain emails into a certain folder.
Simple in its design and user experience, Skiff also has a unique data storage system users can opt for storing data in the cloud or using an uncentralized method to store data. “If you’re storing data on an uncentralized system, then we’ll utilize an internet-based network called IPFS, also known as the InterPlanetary File System. It includes servers across the globe from where you can access your data,” the Skiff’s CEO Andrew Milich, who learned to program when he was just 5 years old.
The Skiff product suite is used by a wide range of customers such as journalists, cybersecurity experts, Ukrainians and even 14-year-olds. The startup from San Francisco is aiming to safeguard sensitive information like medical records , financial and other information from being viewed by giants in the field of technology such as Google or Microsoft.
“Google, Amazon, and Facebook have made private human interactions the basis for the modern economy,” declares Jason Ginsberg the CTO at Skiff. “At any time they can poke or prod your personal emails images, documents, as well as messages.”