While many companies and business people automatically associate cloud computing with storage, infrastructure and other opportunities to enhance the data center, these are not the technology’s only benefits. In fact, the cloud can introduce a number of advantages when incorporated into a firm’s overall IT security initiative.
A recent report by Gartner highlighted how the cloud will increasingly be incorporated into corporate security endeavors, as 10 percent of IT data protection offerings will be available through the cloud by 2015. Because of the growing demands for cloud-based identity and access management, secure email and other gateways, the market for cloud-enabled security services is expected to generate roughly $4.2 billion in revenue by 2016.
The cloud allows organizations of all sizes to implement robust and effective data protection solutions despite the fact that many businesses lack the skills, staff or financial capabilities to do so. This is among the biggest drivers to implement cloud-based security tools.
“This shift in buying behavior from the more traditional on-premises equipment toward cloud-based delivery models offers good opportunities for technology and service providers with cloud delivery capabilities, but those without such capabilities need to act quickly to adapt to this competitive threat,” said Eric Ahlm, research director at Gartner.
How decision-makers intend to implement cloud security
Gartner analysts revealed that while there are a number of popular security components in the cloud landscape, the majority of executives plan on increasing spending on opportunities to improve the safety of email functions. Other organizations intend to increase investments in cloud-enabled tokenization services, largely due to strict compliance requirements and the ongoing need to keep consumers’ personally identifiable information safe.
Many decision-makers will also likely spend more money on security information and event management solutions in the cloud, as doing so introduces the chance to reduce expenses, monitor assets more effectively and meet compliance requirements.
“The value that cloud services bring to security buyers is measurable in terms of capital and operational cost reduction,” Ahlm said. “Security providers that currently offer only a hardware/software-based solution requiring implementation should build product road maps that allow customers to move to the cloud at their pace.”
Why cloud security is important
Implementing a variety of cloud infrastructure services will give companies an edge in the coming years not only because they will have more money to invest in innovative technologies, but also because the cloud is more adaptable to change. This means that organizations with cloud security and other tools will be able to adopt and protect next-generation IT trends without too many complications, giving them an advantage over rival firms that are still using antiquated offerings.
Gartner noted that the ease of deployment and minimized maintenance costs are big drivers for cloud-based security and will continue to influence executives’ decisions in the coming years, especially as the cloud landscape evolves and matures.
A separate study by Infonetics Research highlighted similar findings, noting that the market for cloud-based security services is expected to expand 86 percent between 2011 and 2016. This increase will largely be driven by the ongoing need to reduce costs and complexities in the data center, as failing to reduce these two burdens will make it more difficult for a company to survive and compete in the long run.
By planning ahead and working with a trusted cloud provider, executives across the private sector can implement advanced security technologies within a cloud environment, making it easier to protect highly sensitive information.
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