With the current year drawing to an end, it’s time to evaluate what the upcoming one has in store for us cybersecurity enthusiasts. Let us see what opportunities and threats are likely to emerge in the VPN market in 2020!
1. Bring-your-own-device and remote work markets will continue to grow
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD), a practice when employees of a company perform their work duties with the help of gadgets they own instead of those issued by the firm, is already commonplace. Just a quick look at the statistics shows that this approach brings powerful results, including increased productivity, ability to work from home, and other benefits.
The market size for BYOD is forecasted to reach $366.95 billion by 2022 as compared to $94.15 billion it was worth in 2014 – a massive amount of growth.
Similarly, more and more people are turning to remote work and even digital nomadism. To do your dream job while also living any place on the globe is truly an exciting prospect, but even the ability to perform some of your work tasks from home makes for a wonderful benefit. Both workers and employers seem to agree: it is expected that in 2020, more than half of the workforce will work remotely for at least part of their working hours.
But what does it mean for the virtual private network market?
Nothing but a similar growth. All those billions of devices used by employees for work have to access corporate networks, and that’s when VPN technologies come into play. Without a VPN, data security in the business environment can’t be properly provided.
It’s essential that businesses implement certain cybersecurity practices to ensure the protection of their sensitive data, and many already do: 74% of companies that employ remote workers require that they use a VPN to conduct their work operations.
2. More people will set up their own VPN servers
2019 was marked with several cybersecurity scandals including data breaches, acquisitions of seemingly reliable providers by questionable companies, and the discovery of some providers being clandestinely owned by untrustworthy companies in the first place. It is not hard to see why more customers start to question if they can trust the names behind many cybersecurity tools.
When it comes to VPN apps, while their convenience is indisputable – after all, just a couple of mouse clicks or screen taps are usually enough to activate an encrypted tunnel – their reliability can’t really be proven without seeing their source code.
Unlike buying an app, setting up a personal VPN server using OpenVPN (as it is the best protocol available today) is both more secure and faster, because you don’t have to share the server with other users.
Of course, doing this requires a bit more technical savviness to pull off, but with privacy and security awareness growing, more netizens are likely to turn to this method.
3. Harsher restrictions on VPNs
Not all prospects of the VPN market are so bright, though. There are also definite threats that can harm the market.
VPN services are popular in many countries that implement internet censorship, and it’s obvious why. However, it would be a mistake to think that the authorities of such countries are unaware of this popularity. And they do take measures to close this loophole by banning or blocking VPN providers.
This year, for example, the Russian government issued an ultimatum to 10 VPN service providers. To continue operating in Russia, they had to comply with the local internet restrictions and not provide access to blocked resources to their Russian clients. Otherwise, the VPN services themselves would be blocked in Russia.
While not much has been done so far to restrict access to those 9 services that rejected the demands (including OpenVPN), the sad truth is that this trend won’t likely stop at that. Blocking VPNs that do not cooperate with the government is a common practice throughout the world, in China, the UAE, and many other countries.
The more widespread the use of VPN technologies gets in such states, the harsher restrictions they will implement to limit their populations’ access to unbiased information.
Dean Chester is a practicing cybersecurity expert and author of numerous articles on Cooltechzone and other tech websites such as Sensorstechforum, Bdtechtalks, etc. Dean is a fan of all topics related to data privacy and cybersecurity. He usually takes part in various tech tutorials, forums, conferences, etc. He can be reached at twitter @DeanChe36640282.