The digital era is based on an endless supply of data. The most successful companies of the past twenty years have mastered the art of gathering, processing, and marketing this data with efficiency. Now, corporations, governments, and cyber criminals have access to the same ceaseless supply of personal data. This puts the average user in a precarious position.
This reliance on data is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s improved digital services, on the other hand it has made users vulnerable and put privacy at risk. Innovators at the bleeding edge of the tech revolution would be rendered powerless without this critical resource. Apple uses data to improve products, Amazon uses it to price goods, Google uses it to fine-tune search results, and Facebook uses it to help advertisers – all of which are critical functions of these multi-billion dollar behemoths.
However, recent scandals and high-profile data breaches have made these vulnerabilities clear to the general public. Facebook’s involvement in the Russian attack on the American Presidential elections, Sina Weibo’s role in the crackdown on protests in Hong Kong, Amazon’s potential role as a supplier of facial recognition software to the U.S. government, and the loss of 500 million customer details, 383 million guest records and 18.5 million encrypted passport numbers by the Marriott International chain of hotels were all examples of the perils of entrusting corporations with personal data.
Meanwhile, the nature of digital communications has evolved alongside the rapid progress in connected device technology. Smartphones, tablets, connected smartwatches, and virtual reality headsets have not only offered convenience, but have also expanded the surface area for potential bad actors to target.
Sophisticated attackers can now track people’s locations through their fitness apps, see their dating profile matches and extract images from the applications, intercept text messages sent over a cellular network to drain a user’s bank account, and log into the surveillance equipment installed at home to spy on unsuspecting users.
With the ever-expanding risks and the ceaseless corporate demand for data, users have turned to the most effective solution – encryption. End-to-end encryption of data may be the only way to keep communications private and personal data secure in the digital age.
As such, the demand for encryption software and tools have expanded in recent years. According to industry experts, the global market for encryption tools and software is currently worth US$9.8 billion and is expected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.5% to US$20.1 billion by 2025.
As founder and CEO of a global cyber security firm, David specialises in anti-fraud and anti-corporate espionage systems worldwide. He was also a policy contributor to Canada’s new Digital Charter under Minister Bains.