The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, the growing adoption of digital technologies, and the need for robust data protection measures, as well as growing importance of technologies such as secure hash algorithm 2 (SHA-2) and secure hash algorithm 3 (SHA-3), which offer enhanced security features and resistance against cryptographic attacks. These technologies contribute to the development of secure systems, communications, and storage solutions, reinforcing cybersecurity frameworks and fostering digital trust. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cybersecurity in technology: secure hash algorithms (SHA)Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

190+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, trusted platform modules, signcryption, and homomorphic encryption, are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Zero knowledge proof, physically unclonable functions (PUFs), and multi-factor authentication are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are AES encryption and encrypted content distribution, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for cybersecurity in the technology industry

Secure hash algorithms (SHA) is a key innovation area in cybersecurity

Secure hash algorithms (SHA) encompass a collection of cryptographic hash functions formulated by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These algorithms generate a consistent-length message digest derived from input messages of varying lengths, making them well-suited for applications involving digital signatures and data integrity preservation. SHA algorithms are instrumental in ensuring the authenticity and integrity of digital data, establishing robust cryptographic frameworks, and safeguarding sensitive information.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 360+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of secure hash algorithms (SHA).

Key players in secure hash algorithms (SHA) – a disruptive innovation in the technology industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to secure hash algorithms (SHA)

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance 35 Unlock Company Profile
eBay 53 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 25 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 34 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 36 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 51 Unlock Company Profile
Alibaba Group 943 Unlock Company Profile
Salesforce 29 Unlock Company Profile
Bank of America 49 Unlock Company Profile
Fortinet 33 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 87 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced New Technologies 604 Unlock Company Profile
IBM 362 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 32 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 244 Unlock Company Profile
Micron Technology 79 Unlock Company Profile
Coinplug 55 Unlock Company Profile
SpiderOak 36 Unlock Company Profile
nChain 547 Unlock Company Profile
Algorand 41 Unlock Company Profile
Symbolic IO 28 Unlock Company Profile
Eluvio 26 Unlock Company Profile
Inveniam Capital Partners 59 Unlock Company Profile
EYGS 32 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Alibaba Group is the leading patent filer in secure hash algorithms (SHA). The company’s patents are aimed at a data storage method for determining a first check value of a first version of a target object, obtaining a second check value of a second version of the target object, creating a data block comprising the first check value and the second check value, and storing the data block in a blockchain, where the data block stored in the blockchain is immutable.

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Advanced New Technologies and nChain.

By geographic reach, Fortinet leads the pack, followed by Symbolic IO and nChain. In terms of application diversity, Symbolic IO holds the top position, followed by Intel and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance.    

Cybersecurity innovation in secure hash algorithms (SHA) can play a critical role in safeguarding sensitive data and enhancing digital security. Secure hash algorithms provide a vital cryptographic function by transforming data into a fixed-size hash value, ensuring data integrity and authenticity.

To further understand how cybersecurity is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cybersecurity.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.