It’s not often BBC writes about hard-core encryption, and it caught my interest when they the other day published an article with a headline telling that this year will be the year of encryption. This wouldn’t have happened a year ago, and thanks to Edward Snowden for pushing encryption into the light. That’s great news for Ensafer as my startup for cloud encryption. But it’s even better for the society due to the rising need to protect sensitive information when using the Internet. Let me sum up this BBC news with this blog post.

BBC has interviewed some key figures in the IT industry about encryption as shown below.

“The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.”

This was said by Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, in response to the NSA scandal revealed by Edward Snowden. Is this right? Google wants to encrypt? Well, great. But it will hammer down their business model, so they can’t possibly encrypt everything?

Microsoft has also understood the importance of encryption (due to Snowden, I guess), and says that they will have “best-in-class industry crypthograpy” in place for, Office 365 and SkyDrive by the end of 2014. Well, who would have guessed one year ago?

Another giant, Yahoo, has also announced plans to encrypt all of it customers’ data by the end of Q1/2014. Encryption has really turned into a competition among the giants. Thanks, Edward Snowden!

Dave Frymier, Chief Information Security Officer at Unisys, says that 2014 will likely be the year of encryption. The driving force will not be government surveillance programmes, but the threat of attacks from hackers. I agree. He continues by saying:

“When you look at the increasing sophistication of malware, it becomes apparent that you need to establish highly protected enclaves of data. The only way to achieve that is through modern encryption, properly implemented.”

I couldn’t agree more to this. And he says something else: Rather than encrypting everything, he advocates that companies identify what he believes is the 5%-15% of their data that is really confidential, and use encryption to protect just that. He adds:

“You can split your data into diamonds and paperclips, and the important thing is to encrypt the diamonds, and not to sweat the paperclips.”

Prakash Panjwani, a general manager at Safenet, believes that the large number of high-profile data breaches in 2013 implies that 2014 will inevitably be a bumper one for encryption vendors. He says:

“Snowden has focused attention on surveillance issues, but the real threat is organised crime and the number of data breaches that are occurring. Companies are going to come under extreme pressure from boards, customers and regulators in 2014 to take action so that if there is a data breach they can say, ‘We didn’t lose any data because it was encrypted’.”

Edward SnowdenAbsolutely true. Let me finish this blog post here, I think I’ve made the point together with BBC: 2014 is the year of encryption. It should have been the case in 2008, but I’m glad that encryption finally made its way to the stage.

I’ve earlier published several posts on this blog about IT security, and here are some of them:

If you want to crack an encryption quiz, read my blog post here.

Happy encryption!

This post can also be found slightly modified here on the Ensafer blog.