Thales eSecurity Blog

Encryption trends and predictions over 50 years

Derek Tumulak
Derek Tumulak | Vice President of Global Product Management at Thales eSecurity More About This Author >

Modern encryption can trace its root back to before WWII when Alan Turing built a modern computer in order to break the Enigma. Much has changed since then but the core goals remain the same: limit who has access to certain information and prove the authenticity of who sent a message.

25 years of evolution and coming into the mainstream

Encryption trends and predictions over 50 years

The last 25 years has primarily been evolutionary with advances in symmetric and asymmetric cryptography focused on increasing key sizes and developing newer and faster algorithms that are power efficient. Encryption went from being a technology predominantly used in highly classified, mission critical applications to a foundational component used in almost all aspects of our lives. This was fueled by data breaches and in parallel sparked the dawn of data security regulatory mandates such as PCI, HIPAA/HITECH, GDPR, and many more. We’ve also seen promising approaches, such as homomorphic encryption, come out of academia that have yet to find common practice in real-world applications.

Looking into the crystal ball over the next 25 years

In the near-term, we’ll continue to see increased adoption of encryption technologies in our everyday lives. The leading cloud providers (AWS, Azure, GCP, Salesforce, etc.) are incorporating encryption technologies implicitly within their offerings, and making encryption easier than ever to consume. Seamless technology integration will be a core focus with end users unaware that data is being encrypted. We will continue to see further advancements in regulation and data privacy laws that will force organizations to think more seriously about their data security strategies, and apply best practices as opposed to doing the bare minimum to protect your data. In addition, the ongoing debate on backdoor access by government agencies in the interest of national security will continue to rage on.

As quantum computers become more accessible, the first measure will be to adopt quantum resistant algorithms so that data encrypted today can’t easily be unlocked 25 years from now. I’m very excited to see the advancements that lie ahead of us that do leverage quantum and artificial intelligence.

So now what?

We are in a period where the rate of change is increasing as it relates to encryption and broader security techniques. It is more important than ever to work with partners that have strong vision and the velocity to be able to adapt to the disruptive and ever changing market needs.

Please visit our website to learn more about high-assurance encryption solutions.