A Worldwide Survey of Encryption Products

B. Schneier, K. Seidel, and S. Vijayakumar

February 11, 2016.


Data security is a worldwide problem, and there is a wide world of encryption solutions available to help solve this problem. Most of these products are developed and sold by for-profit entities, although some are created as free open-source projects. They are available, either for sale or free download, all over the world.

In 1999, a group of researchers from George Washington University attempted to survey the worldwide market for encryption products. The impetus for their survey was the ongoing debate about US encryption export controls. By collecting information about 805 hardware and software encryption products from 35 countries outside the US, the researchers showed that restricting the export of encryption products did nothing to reduce their availability around the world, while at the same time putting US companies at a competitive disadvantage in the information security market.

Seventeen years later, we have tried to replicate this survey.

[full text – PDF (Acrobat)]

[Excel spreadsheet of survey data]

Categories: Miscellaneous Papers

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.