Initial apprehension about the safety of data and network security systems housed in the cloud has slowed the transition from in-house services. However, the trend is shifting, due in large part to the creation of new cloud-based security tools and significant investments made by leading providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.[1]

The top security concerns have focused on protection against data loss, threats to privacy and confidentiality breaches.[2] Concerns about cloud-based security include a shortage of staff qualified in cloud security processes and the challenges inherent in transferring traditional security tools and procedures to cloud platforms.[3]

Two trends are addressing these issues:

  • The growth of security-as-a-service (SECaaS) – This business model integrates a security services provider into a company’s infrastructure on a subscription basis. SECaaS is often more cost effective than the security most companies can provide on their own. A recent survey of mid-size companies found 72% preferred SECaaS in the cloud over on-site security solutions or outsourcing security to a third-party provider.[4] The study also found mid-size companies on average spend $178,000 annually on network security, nearly 40% of their total IT security budget.[5]
  • The creation of cloud-based security tools – Several traditional in-house security services have been recast for the cloud environment, such as firewalls, anti-virus and identity management tools. New developments include threat identification, compliance checking and network micro-segmentation, which breaks down the data center into sub-sections and applies high-security IT procedures for added protection.[6]

Gartner forecasts that cloud-based security services will increase 21% this year and reach $9 billion worldwide by 2020.[7] The fastest-growing services address email security, web security, identity and access management (IAM), and security information and event management (SIEM).[8] Gartner notes other emerging cloud-based security services include threat intelligence enablement, malware sandboxes, data encryption, endpoint management, thread intelligence and web application firewalls.

[1] “Cloud Security 2017: Services Are Growing Up,” by Jack Shepherd, OneLogin blog, Jan. 13, 2017. Available at: https://www.onelogin.com/blog/cloud-security-2017-services-are-growing-up

[2] “Cloud Security Report 2017,” highlights of report found at: http://www.cybersecurity-insiders.com/portfolio/download-cloud-security-report/

[3] “Cloud Security Report 2017,” highlights of report found at: http://www.cybersecurity-insiders.com/portfolio/download-cloud-security-report/

[4] “Security-as-a-Service on the Rise Among Mid-Tier Companies,” by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle, SDXCentral blog, May 9, 2017. Available at: https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/security-service-rise-among-mid-tier-companies/2017/05/

[5] “Security-as-a-Service on the Rise Among Mid-Tier Companies,” by Jessica Lyons Hardcastle, SDXCentral blog, May 9, 2017. Available at: https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/security-service-rise-among-mid-tier-companies/2017/05/

[6] “Cloud security best practice: Security as a service or cloud security tooling?” by David Auslander, Cloudtech blog, May 25, 2017. Available at: https://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2017/may/25/cloud-security-best-practice-security-service-or-cloud-security-tooling/

[7] “Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Cloud-Based Security Services to Grow 21 Percent in 2017,” press release dated June 13, 2017. Available at: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3744617

[8] “Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Cloud-Based Security Services to Grow 21 Percent in 2017,” press release dated June 13, 2017. Available at: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3744617

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