By the Blouin News Technology staff

A look at tech in 2014

by in Personal Tech.

TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

As Target investigates a massive data breach, we can all assume that 2014 will be a year that security experts lag behind criminals. Whether it was Anonymous hacking websites for good, or malicious criminals grabbing millions of credit card numbers, 2013 was a big year for data security breaches.

As more businesses move their software applications and the associated information to the cloud – both public and private – the security and privacy risks will increase. In the cat and mouse game of security, it looks like the good guys are losing. 2 million social media passwords were stolen this month. (I wonder how many were simply password.) It seems like businesses and consumers alike do not take security seriously.

The march to cloud will not slow down in 2014. Instead, the march will be to hybrid cloud scenarios, where companies will leverage public cloud only when necessary (like for Office 365 or hosted email). Companies will be examining private cloud first and foremost. This is good news for Rackspace, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell and others.

All the noise around Big Data will continue in 2014. Two things about Big Data: obviously the storage and protection of that data becomes necessary even as it grows terabyte by terabyte. More essential, it’s not about the data itself but what algorithms can tell you about that data. Wearable tech (think Fitbit) is a good example of big data being turned into useful info. Who knew math majors would eventually have well-paying jobs?

The final trend will be mobility. The FCC is set to auction off more spectrum in 2014. The cellular companies not named AT&T and Verizon will be looking for ways to increase their relatively small share of the marketplace in 2014. Sprint is now powered by Japan’s Softbank and wholly owns Clearwire, which should result in a uniform 4G deployment plan for 2014 if they don’t get lost trying to acquire T-Mobile.

This Christmas will result in many gadgets – tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Fitbits, smart watches and other devices that are internet-attached. All part of the internet-of-things phenomenon, it will mean that families with data caps on their broadband pricing plans will be paying more in 2014. Wireless and wireline broadband plans have data caps across the U.S. at a time when households are increasing their consumption of data as they stream, tweet, snap, update, watch, like, reply to a succession of packets. The same way your child can rack up the spending in an app store or the on-demand movie store, watch your consumption on broadband in the new year to keep your cellular and broadband bills from skyrocketing.

Nothing really new in 2014. We will see a lot of the same buzz words as some of these sectors mature.