Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ProtonSuite Report Summary

Project ID: 791727

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ProtonSuite (The world’s largest secure collaboration suite)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Over the last 4 years, the costs incurred by organizations from cybercrime grew by 96%. Companies attacked through internet as a means suffer great losses in revenue, information, operational disruption, and equipment damages. These actions are not restricted to the corporate world. Individuals also suffer a growing number of cyberattacks, although their main concern is linked to potentially unethical use of their personal data. 92% of Europeans are concerned about mobile apps collecting their data without their consent, while 70% of Europeans are concerned about the potential use by companies of the disclosed information. As a result of this, only 15% believe they are in control of their personal data.
These events are pushing organizations, governments and individuals to adopt internet security instruments such as data encryption tools, anti-virus, firewalls, IAM, risk & compliance management software. This trend is being reinforced in Europe through the introduction of the GDPR, which highlights end-to-end encryption as an appropriate technical measure to safeguard data.
In this context, ProtonMail is the world's largest and best-regarded secure email, with over 3M customers from 150 countries. ProtonMail is an innovative product that provides user-friendly experience with full end-to-end encryption. Our strategic market positioning and our advanced Open Source encryption framework has resulted in an outstanding market response over the last years.
We will now take full advantage of our innovative, intuitive and solid zero access encryption architecture to develop and bring to the market additional services that will complete our full Suite of products, featuring a secure cloud storage drive (ProtonDrive) and a blockchain-based directory for public key authentication (ProtonPublicDirectory).

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the Phase 1 project, we analysed all aspects related to the technical scalability and full industrialization of ProtonSuite. We completed a full roadmap concerning both hardware and software requirements for the implementation of ProtonSuite. Additionally, we defined the objectives of the different stages of the Phase 2 Work Plan.
In our stakeholder study, we identified potential partners to enhance our commercial and operational approach. We designed a detailed partnership acquisition strategy, including corporate stakeholder identification, and developed a plan to expand existing partnerships through inbound and outbound channels. We also set the baseline for our support procedures throughout the partnerships.
We performed an exhaustive market analysis identifying key customer segments among consumers, SMEs and Enterprises. The market study also included a detailed analysis of market conditions and layering, as well as the identification and characterization of competitors. We also developed our commercialization plan, as well as a complete FTO study.
Concerning the financial feasibility, we estimated the project budget and time distribution of costs. Three different scenarios were considered for the first 5 years of commercialization (pessimistic, realistic and optimistic). Based on the most likely scenario, we performed forecasts for cost, revenue, EBITDA and ROI.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Through the feasibility study, we have tackled the two main barriers that are preventing secure data encryption to reach the mass audience: 1) The lack of secure collaboration Suites, with fully encrypted and easy-to-use storage drives. 2) The lack of secure and reliable key distribution and authentication methods.
We will therefore develop our own solution based on our current cryptographic technology used for the ProtonMail platform and expand it with two key components: Firstly, ProtonDrive will provide End-to-End encrypted file storage, file sharing and smart sync with different devices in a market that lacks end-to-end secure solutions. Secondly, ProtonPublicDirectory will leverage blockchain technology to provide both easy and reliable encryption key distribution and authentication. As the first publicly auditable system for end-to-end authentication, it will ensure that the key cannot be tampered with in a way that is impossible to discover. Following our Open Source strategy, we will create an ecosystem that will also allow verified third parties to exist within the directory, building a universal directory of public keys.
This will allow ProtonMail to acquire millions of new customers over the next years, thus replacing widely used and potentially unsecure and non-GDPR compliant products from the US with a secure and Europe-built solution that appeals to both individual consumers and companies.

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