Bitcoin, the digital currency underpinned by block chain technology, is still in its infancy and users are only just beginning to scratch the surface of its full potential. Even so, things are already heating up for dealers in Bitcoin. This year, the total value of Bitcoin transactions is expected to exceed $92bn – up around 240% from under $27bn in 2015. Bitcoin transactions typically make use of aliases or nicknames to disguise user identities but this does not make them anonymous. However, the combination of a virtual private network (VPN) and Bitcoin can guarantee privacy. The encrypted connection provides a cloak of invisibility for all transactional data and provides complete anonymity for buyers if they want it. This is especially true when purchasing digital goods like software, books, reports, databases and so on.
Once again Internet-connected gadgets, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT), are expected to be a gift for retailers this Christmas in helping them towards bumper sales. However, in many ways, the hyperbole surrounding consumer IoT is a mere side-show. According to McKinsey Global Institute, the real value of IoT lies with industry. McKinsey expects factories to be the top market for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), accounting for $3.7 trillion per year by 2025. Presently, IoT technology in general is relatively immature. Issues such as security and manufacturing standards are still the subject of much debate. However, the primary focus of the world’s professional engineering bodies is how to make IIoT more robust. In this respect, Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology has an important part to play by ensuring data traffic is secured at device-level and encrypted at all times.
The way we work has changed. Our laptops, tablets and smartphones let us do our job from wherever we want – at the office, at home or even while on-the-move. We can also freely chat and collaborate with colleagues, customers or suppliers one-to-one or in groups using an array of cloud-based productivity apps. When it comes to mobile, the conventional security model is broken. Traditional detection and software patching techniques simply cannot keep pace. In its place, arguably one of the most reliable ways to keep sensitive proprietary data safe is mobile VPN.
Almost everyone in business has reason to be grateful for the existence of SWIFT, the international banking and funds transfer network. VPNs have a crucial role in SWIFT’s security, but following a series of successful attacks over the past 12 months it appears that not all banks – especially ones in less developed economies – have made security their top priority. The answer may lie with regulators insisting that VPNs are used not just in the core of the SWIFT network, but also as part of improvements to security measures at its outer limits.
“We the public are at one of the last points that we will have to make a difference in how normalised the culture of mass surveillance becomes.”
Following the cinema release of Oliver Stone’s latest biopic, Snowden, these words spoken by Edward Snowden himself remind us of what drove him to take controversial action in the name of privacy that made him the polarizing figure he is today.