What’s ahead for the cloud in 2013? You can expect a growing recognition of the ROI-driven value of investments in cloud security. Once considered relatively small, the global cloud security market is projected to reach more than $6 billion in revenue by 2016, according to Transparency Market Research.
As interest and commitment to protecting data and activity in the cloud increases, here are five key trends that will help frame the decisions of industry leaders for the next year – and beyond:
Increased convenience will translate to increased exposure. From a practicality standpoint, it’s incredibly satisfying to have a heavily integrated cloud system that supports all of your file-sharing, email, voice and data functions. But, because everything you depend upon every day is connected to this one system, cyber criminals now have a singular pathway to disrupt all of these services – and a much bigger “attack surface” to find vulnerabilities to exploit. In 2013, expect greater concerns to be voiced about our expanding dependencies upon a single cloud structure; however – as is standard practice for technology advancement – continuing innovation will address these concerns through better information security solutions.
Data breaches will not write the cloud’s obituary. Every significant data breach in the cloud leads to questions whether the cloud can ever be adequately secured. Public clouds are huge, complex, popular systems, and so, attract more attackers – and garner more media attention whenever there’s an issue. But even though you’re more likely to hear all the details about any public cloud breach, there are plenty of lower-profile breaches within traditional, private-network enterprises that you won’t hear about. In 2013, a clearer understanding of this reality will emerge, and we’ll focus on how to better protect data in the cloud instead of resigning ourselves to ill-conceived notions that we’ll never be able to do so.
The global economy will expose significant complexities about privacy. The beauty of the cloud is that data can live anywhere. And this applies to international organizations that make use of the cloud from nation to nation. Yet, each country applies its own ‘rules’ on privacy; for example, strong European rules on data protection clash with the Patriot (News - Alert) Act’s requirements on cloud companies that do business in the U.S. No one standard can satisfy all of these rules. Thus, as global commerce continues to gain momentum in the cloud in 2013, companies will face increasing challenges trying to remain within the good graces of local privacy regulations.
Enterprises will turn to multi-factor authentication as S.O.P. At one time, multi-factor authentication seemed a novelty. In 2013, it will increasingly be the norm, as the market is expected to grow by over 20 percent annually through 2015, according to research from TechNavio. Highly targeted attacks such as social engineering and spear phishing are getting far, far too sophisticated for cloud-dependent enterprises to settle for anything less. At the very least, “two-factor” authentication will be required, supplementing passwords with SMS codes, soft tokens and/or card readers.
The private cloud presents the best of both worlds. The cloud is here to stay. But the issues detailed here speak volumes about the lack of certainty about security in the public cloud. With the rise of popularity of file sharing and other collaborative activity in the public cloud, organizational managers will have to seek a balance between the protection of their data assets and business functionality and productivity. That’s why they’ll create momentum for the private cloud in 2013. With the public cloud, they’re resigned to operate using the security standards of a third-party cloud vendor. With the private cloud, they still reap the benefits of having their data “live anywhere,” but they set their own standards and best practices to reduce threat risk. Given this, we’ll see the pendulum swing more in favor of the private cloud in 2013 and beyond.
Jon Pincus is senior vice president of products at Accellion, Inc.
Edited by Brooke Neuman