The rapidly evolving cloud infrastructure market is providing organizations around the world with new opportunities to improve operations through innovation. These capabilities are not only limited to the private sector, as government agencies and other public sector bodies will also begin to implement cloud services to enhance the way tasks are carried out.
A recent report by Gartner highlighted how the growing public cloud industry is changing how the government consumes security solutions because many of these will be hosted in cloud-based environments in the coming years. Furthermore, the ongoing adoption of various cloud computing services is forcing the public sector to prioritize the protection of their virtual infrastructure. As a result, the cloud will be incorporated into national infrastructure regulations by 2016, requiring decision-makers to implement advanced security tools.
“The popularity and increased adoption of cloud-based security services, albeit at different degrees, will influence the shape of future security marketplaces,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. “Deployments of virtualization, and its replacing of traditional physical hardware platforms, are expected to impact the deployment model of future network security capabilities, which are expected to be based increasingly on virtual security appliances.”
Security’s future may rest in the clouds
Gartner analysts forecast growth rates for cloud-based security solutions to outpace premise-based offerings within the next three years because 10 percent of overall IT security applications will be delivered via the cloud by 2015. While this trend is likely to occur around the world, Gartner predicts North America will account for the majority of spending.
A separate report by Trend Micro highlighted similar findings, noting that the cloud security software market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 41 percent through 2014, eventually generating more than $963 million in revenue.
There are a number of drivers expected to push the cloud security market forward, including the need to keep mission-critical data stored in the hosted environments safe. The flexibility, cost-saving opportunities and high availability of cloud security tools will also influence adoption of the technology, Trend Micro said.
“The biggest opportunities currently center on areas such as messaging and Web security as well as remote vulnerability assessment,” Contu said. “However, as maturity evolves a wide variety of security offerings will emerge, such as data loss prevention (DLP), encryption and authentication, to be increasingly available in the cloud.”
Cloud infrastructure gains significance in public sector
As the macroeconomic crisis continues, government decision-makers will increasingly turn to the cloud in an effort to reduce expenses, optimize their use of computing resources and create a more consistent network, Gartner reported. Because several critical agencies have adopted the cloud and not experienced any problems, executives throughout the public sector are gaining confidence in the technology and will eventually migrate their own teams to the cloud within the next few years.
This transformation will create opportunities and challenges for cloud vendors.
“Public cloud services providers will need to comply with critical infrastructure protection mandates for systems outside of the scope of just federal government use under the FedRAMP program – Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program,” said Lawrence Pingree, research director at Gartner. “Security technology providers will need to prepare their technologies in order to address potential mandates for critical infrastructure protection of public cloud environments.”
As the cloud continues to mature, government agencies will be more inclined to adopt the services to improve operations and reduce long-term expenses. By planning ahead, federal decision-makers will migrate to the cloud easily and adopt the most innovative cloud-based security solutions on the market.