If you've paid any attention to news coming out of the States lately, you may have noticed that there's been a major legal battle going on between Apple and the FBI. The case specifically concerns the government's desire to gain access to a secured phone belonging to a terror suspect, but as the public in the U.S. and around the world has gained an interest, it's become more about the nature of mobile privacy. Should we be able to protect and encrypt our devices absolutely? Should our governments be given special ways of accessing private information in extreme circumstances? And what does it say about the nature of mobile security that we even feel the need for such stringent security measures in the first place?
Most of the details of that case are relevant specifically to the U.S., but that last point—about why we feel the need for such strong mobile security—is worth considering for mobile technology users all over the world. On the surface, it's an easy concept to understand. We use our mobile devices for so many different things in our day-to-day lives that it's only natural we'd want our activity on them to remain secure and private. But it also might be fair to say that we don't yet fully understand the need for privacy with these devices. And for the following reasons, mobile security is only going to become a bigger deal in the coming years.
1. Mobile Payments
Thanks to a number of different technologies and even new forms of currency, we're beginning to see a lot of people around the world transition to making payments with their mobile devices. From Apple Pay to Bitcoin, there are all kinds of technologies fueling this transition. While we're still in the early days of the change, it won't be long before scanning a smartphone screen is as commonplace as swiping a credit or debit card. Consider this: according to Statista, the expected amount of money transferred via mobile payment each year is expected to reach about 1.08 trillion in U.S. dollars by 2019. That's as compared to about 450 billion today. With our mobile devices so closely linked to our bank accounts and payment habits, we're going to begin to care even more about securing those devices.
2. Paid Mobile Gaming
In addition to mobile transactions, we're also likely to see real-money mobile gaming activity skyrocket in the coming years. In part this is because some of the leading online casinos are already reaching out to more users by building mobile apps to carry their online selection of games. Already, virtually the entirety of Betfair is accessible via mobile devices in much of the world, and really wherever online gambling is legal. That not only enables the company's huge community of existing users to play games in new ways, but it also makes mobile users more inclined to discover and participate in real-money gaming independently. What this means for the coming years is almost certainly a higher level of online gambling activity conducted on mobile devices, which means even more instances in which our mobile activity is connected to our finances.
3. Cloud Business
We hear a lot about cloud computing these days, but because its implementation has been so gradual, it's hard to really get a grasp on what's changed. The truth of the matter is individuals and businesses alike are transitioning fairly completely to a new technological normal by which work is conducted and data is shared via digital clouds—and thus, often, through mobile devices. A report by CIO predicted that cloud traffic would quadruple between 2012 and 2017, and we're now in the thick of that increase in traffic. In the years ahead, we'll simply be accessing more important data on our mobile devices, whether related to business or personal information. And for many, that's the biggest reason of all for increased security concerns.