Although the current tech bubble might be about to burst, as Vanessa noted in our first #bubblewatch post, there’s good reason to think privacy-related services will survive the pop. Perhaps due in part to the NSA leaks, young people are starting to care more about privacy on a personal and political level. And as David Berkowitz noted in his opinion piece on Snapchat’s high valuation, the absence of targeted advertising and user tracking is a major reason why that social app has attracted so many users.
At the same time, there’s been a rise in private social networks, with services like Path and solutions like Yammer for enterprise. App.net is banking that personal social data should be owned like a utility and used however its owner sees fit, while startups like Dispora are seeking to dencentrialize the concept of a social network all together. Outside of social, email clients like Lavabit (now attempting to raise $200k on Kickstarter to release a new service) and Mailpile (which already succeeded in its IndieGoGo campaign) are looking to fill a gap in consumer desire for more secure and private communication, too.
None of these services have neared the valuation or popularity of more public networks like Twitter (which itself is taking extra security precautions), but the fact that so many similar types of services continue trying to gain footing in the market suggests a desire among consumers and investors for services with better privacy controls.
In any case, established giants are taking note. Microsoft, for example, recently announced it would incorporate encryption into their messaging in early 2014, even though the majority of people in America are relatively comfortable with governments, advertisers, and others surveilling their digital steps.
For businesses, however, security is a necessity, and industry professionals are having to increase their diligence over proprietary information. Earlier this year, servers storing information of accounts connected to Adobe, PR Newswire, Cupid Media and others were compromised, and recently, the coder resource library GitHub announced several of their users accounts had been compromised through a brute-force attack. The iPhone 5s fingerprint enclave was hacked within two days of the device being sold. As lean and agile become the necessary standard in business, data integrity and security has become essential to the process. This will become even more true as we enter the Internet of Things era when data will be gathered and analyzed from millions of additional points beyond what we already have.
With all that in mind, it’s a good guess that cybersecurity will remain a growing industry, no matter what happens to the current tech bubble. One of the industry's biggest challenges, interestingly enough, is getting the next generation to work in the field -- because despite their growing personal interest in privacy, young people are, so far, not interested in working in it as a profession. #blamemillennials