Cyber risks pose a large-scale threat to governments, economies, businesses, and individuals. Both companies and governments are increasingly investing to improve cybersecurity tools and protocols as the frequency of attacks continues to rise. These trends have fueled the growth of innovation in data security and increased the number of companies and individuals introducing new encryption products across the world.
In February 2016, noted cryptographer Bruce Schneier released his Worldwide Encryption Products Survey that was compiled as part of his fellowship at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The survey identified 619 organizations who offer encryption products. The wide variety encryption products include: virtual private networks; email and messaging encryption apps; file and disk encryption; voice and text encryption; password managers; anonymous currency; and network-traffic encryption. Equal in variety are the companies creating these products, which range from large-scale enterprises, like Microsoft and Cisco, to independent developers.
According to the survey, the 619 entities that offer encryption products have released a total of 865 hardware or software products across 55 different countries. Roughly two thirds of these products are made outside of the United States. Of the countries surveyed, the U.S. has the most encryption offerings, totaling 304. Following the U.S. is Germany with 112 products. Behind Germany are the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Sweden. Smaller countries like Algeria, Argentina, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Chile, Cyprus, Estonia, Iraq, Malaysia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Tanzania, and Thailand each produce at least one encryption product.
Of the 546 foreign encryption products, Schneier found that 56% are available for sale and 44% are free, and 66% are proprietary and 34% are open source. Additionally, of these 546, 47 are file encryption products, 68 e-mail encryption products, 104 message encryption products, 35 voice encryption products, and 61 virtual private networking products.
This study provides clear evidence of growing global need for encryption technologies. The plethora of competition in this space ensures the development of higher quality encryption solutions for end users. The frequency of cyberattacks continues to grow, but so does the technology to protect our data.