Since the initial emergence of cloud computing technology, security has been a main priority. Before it was commonplace to migrate your business’s most confidential and sensitive information to an off-premise system, company leaders and other early adopters were worried with the safety of these solutions. As a result, they implemented a number of protection measures on their side to help better safeguard their enterprise content and provide peace of mind.
Since then, cloud technology has considerably developed, and safety is no longer such a concern. However, this does not mean that cloud security isn’t still a top priority for today’s administrators. In fact, the face of protection in the cloud has significantly changed, and organizations are now using new approaches to ensure their data is secured.
Cloud security market: Poised for continued growth
According to a new report from Research and Markets, the global cloud security market will continue its upward trajectory, growing considerably in the next four years.
Researchers predict that until 2019, the market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 48.46 percent, signaling a continuing focus on overall cloud security across the globe. There are a number of factors driving this market growth, including increasing partnerships between cloud service providers and security solution vendors, as well as falling ownership costs.
“As the market matures, cloud security is expected to become an integral part of cloud services, which will encourage CSPs to partner with security solution providers to provide security software and maintain their competitiveness,” Research and Markets noted. “Cloud security software reduces the operation costs of an organization. In the cloud security software model, the associated risks, maintenance and operation costs, infrastructure costs and updates are handled by a third party or service provider.”
Despite this predicted growth, the market isn’t without its share of challenges. The report discovered that open-source security software is creating a major hurdle for others in the industry, especially as more vendors enter the marketplace, adding to the overall competition.
Even in the face of this obstacle, however, the report shows that the market for cloud security software is still strong, and will continue in this path for the next few years. This illustrates the continued focus on protecting data in the cloud, signaling that businesses still place a high priority on their Web-based safeguards.
As the cloud security market continues to grow, businesses are approaching their protections with new strategies in mind. Let’s examine some of the top cloud security trends taking hold this year, including:
1) More utilization of hybrid cloud
One impact that this focus on security will have on overall cloud utilization is that this year, more businesses will opt for a hybrid cloud configuration, noted Perspecsys president and CEO David Canellos. Although public clouds have been the go-to in the past, with an ever increasing amount of information being migrated to Web-based systems, companies are seeking ways to ensure their content is protected and still accessible.
Many administrators are also focusing more on data residency, and want to select a provider that will keep their content close by.
“[N]ew forms of hybrid clouds will take shape, such as hybridization that allows for data to be kept local even while SaaS applications are delivered via multi-tenant public cloud infrastructures,” Canellos wrote.
2) Protection for data at rest
Oftentimes, security efforts have been focused on information that is in transit, whether being sent and received by users or being migrated to the cloud platform. This year will see a high priority being placed on protection for data at rest, according to BlackStratus contributor Rich Murphy. He noted that this shift is primarily due to the current malicious environment, and the influx of advanced persistent threats. With this trend, businesses will bolster their security for data that is at rest, implementing protections beyond traditional encryption.
“Look for newer, more sophisticated approaches being implemented by major data centers and enterprises, including the adoption of data-centric security,” Murphy predicted.
3) Increased restrictions become part of residency and data sovereignty laws
In addition to cloud users being more concerned with where their content is being stored, Canellos noted that data sovereignty and residency laws will also become more restrictive this year due to ongoing nation state surveillance. In order to address privacy regulations as well as their own protection concerns about outside surveillance, enterprises will more often utilize tokenization, a strategy where information is substituted with a less sensitive equivalent, known as a token. Because the token on its own has no intrinsic value, it serves to derail surveillance as well as other unauthorized access.
4) Sophisticated multi-factor authentication
Businesses will also be tightening the ranks of their cloud security with more complex multi-factor authentication measures, where the traditional username and password isn’t enough to access a system. Instead, users will need a single use code sent to a separate device or account, or another form of identification before they can connect with cloud content.
“2014 saw the importance of multi-factor authentication, and the cloud became a national topic of conversation,” Murphy noted. “Expect for this trend continue in the coming year, with more organizations looking to the finance and healthcare industries as a model for their own security postures.”
5) Boosted focus on breach insurance
In the current threat environment, it is no longer a questions of if the business will be breached, but when. As a result, companies are beginning to become more realistic with their cloud security, implementing concrete plans for reacting to and preventing the damages of an attack.
“Breaches will continue to occur on a regular basis, forcing organizations to look toward adopting cyber ‘insurance,'” Canellos wrote. “[T]aking advantage of all applicable security measures to mitigate against cyber risk will become the enterprise battle cry.”
Overall, although users are now less concerned about the risks involved with migrating their mission-critical information to a cloud-based platform, this does not mean they are not highly focused on cloud security. This year will bring new, more sophisticated measures to the fight against threats in the cloud, and organizations will utilize emerging technologies and approaches to further ensure the protection of their sensitive, cloud-based content.