The Year of encryption

It seems that the first quarter of 2014 is ending with a frenzy of encryption. While the words of Edward Snowden about encryption being the best line of defense are still echoing from the SXSW, Hi-Tech giants are acting to encrypt everything they can.

year encryption

Google for example, has begun encrypting Web searches conducted mainly in China, posing a bold new challenge to that nation’s powerful system for censoring the Internet and tracking what individual users are viewing online. The company says the move is part of a global expansion of privacy technology designed to thwart surveillance by government intelligence agencies, police and hackers who, with widely available tools, can view e-mails, search queries and video chats when that content is unprotected. At the same time, Google is also in a wide move to improve its encryption process to Gmail users. Not only as messages move externally, but also internally, as they move between Google's data centers.

Over the last eight months, Yahoo encrypted its e-mail service and Microsoft said that by the end of this year it plans to encrypt all the data traveling to and from its networks. “Encryption on the Web is expanding enormously,” says Peter Eckersley, technology projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which grades companies on how well they do at protecting users’ privacy.

A Need for Protection

Protecting privacy in an age of cybercrime, is no more an option these days, it’s a must. Demand for computer security took off in the 1990’s with high profile computer hacking crimes - Vladimir Levin breaking into CitiBank systems and Kevin Mitnick stealing private information and over 20,000 credit card numbers. By 2000 the internet was widely used by the public. A large scale DDoS attack in February brought down some of the most heavily traffic sites on the internet including amazon, and yahoo, bringing a new focus on computer security.

The updated numbers speak for themselves: Estimated 556 million victims of cybercrime per year (1.5 mil a day, 18 a second), 232.4 million identities exposed per year, More than 600,000 Facebook accounts are compromised every day, and 1 in 10 social network users said they have been a victim to a scam or fake link on a social media site. No wonder that the Cyber Security market is expected to reach $120 billion by 2017.

Giving a Solution

Under these circumstances, one of the most promising methods of protection is using a VPN. A virtual private network is "tunneled" through a wide area network such as the Internet. This means the network does not have to be located in one physical location like a LAN. However, by using encryption and other security measures, a VPN can scramble all the data sent through the wide area network, so the network is "virtually" private. These abilities makes the VPN market one of the most promising segments of Cyber security. The VPN market cap is $3.8billion with a 20-25% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), which will make it the fastest growing segment of internet security. Even more promising is the Mobile VPN market, currently estimated at $228 million with a 34% CAGR. Taking to account that only 415mil people use privacy tools when they go online today, and the rapid growth in cybercrime, VPN solutions like ZenMate, will play a leading role in the future securing, obscuring and protecting internet users.

What do you do to protect yourself in the internet?