Default Encryption Is The Way Forward
The millions of apps that have worked their way into our everyday lives are certainly convenient, but as research has shown (particularly an HP study conducted last year), apps are often not the most secure software. Access to our personal details is often par for the course when it comes to installing a new app, although more often than not it is very unlikely that our data is at any real risk, generally speaking.
That said, security is a major concern, especially in the mobile marketplace. It may come as no surprise then, that both Apple and Google have announced that the new versions of iOS and Android will both encrypt user data by default. These new measures will make it much harder for anyone to gain access to user data, regardless of whether it’s data thieves or law enforcement and government agencies.
More secure data is always a good thing, and given the revelations in the last few years, whether it’s the NSA accessing and spying on users in Europe, or the myriad of major cyber attacks on large companies, encrypted user data is certain to make everyday mobile users feel much more secure.
Interestingly however, the encryption features are not a new thing. Both Apple and Google previously included the ability to encrypt user data in previous versions of their respective operating systems, although many users were simply not aware that the option to encrypt their data existed.
It is likely that the new approach adopted by these companies is as a result of the ‘Reform Government Surveillance’ initiative, that both Apple and Google are a part of. Other major companies that have a vested interest in making sure their user’s data is secure from all forms of threat are also a part of the alliance. Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and AOL for example, are all concerned with the potential breach of security by US government agencies, that has already caused a stir during the Edward Snowden revelations.
As both user and business data security becomes increasingly important, standard encryption is certain to be well received by users. The difficulty is however, staying ahead of the increasingly resourceful approaches of data thieves, whatever capacity they may be operating under. Given the huge increase in smartphone users that is predicted in the next few years, these issues are likely to become even more important and prominent than they are now.