Cloud-based security provides latest potential growth area

August 10, 2012

Companies of all sizes are increasingly reaping the benefits of a move to the cloud, but, according to Dow Jones Newswires, one area in particular looks to be getting a boost from large corporations: applications specializing in security-as-a-service. Although sending out security tasks to cloud service providers is largely at the enterprise level, as the cloud continues to mature and smaller organizations get more comfortable, there stands little reason to believe they won't follow.

Running applications in a cloud environment has seen a changing of the guard in the security industry. Companies that have stuck with more traditional forms of virus protection and other products delivered on the network are taking hits in the market, while cloud-based companies are experiencing a major boom.

Changing product offerings
Among the various services that are increasingly being sent to the cloud, security is right alongside customer and employee relationship applications in popularity. Tools for email security in the cloud are increasingly important, as email is one of the most common cloud-based applications overall. Other offerings are needed to go with productivity suites.

Because of this, the way companies look at data protection is changing as well, as data no longer takes up a permanent residence behind a firewall.

"[The focus has shifted to] securing the data itself and the user rather than protecting a single host," Gartner research director Lawrence Pingree told Dow Jones Newswire. "We are just seeing the beginning of the transition to the cloud in the security market."

United States dominant
Software-as-a-Service models in general are seeing a jump in many areas of the cloud. However, while many aspects of cloud computing have taken off around the world, SaaS is one part of the market that seems to remain largely focused in the United States. According to European-based research company Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC), the U.S. share accounts for 60 percent of the worldwide market.
The United Kingdom, Germany and Japan are next on the list, though none of them hold more than a 6 percent share.

"The USA is the clear leader - the model was invented there, a very broad offering is already available there and there are no cultural barriers," PAC chief analyst Christophe Chalons said. In many other countries, on the other hand, the fear of losing control [and] security concerns … are hampering market development."

Lack of internet bandwidth in developing countries also hampers adoption there. Emerging economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China account for just 2 percent of the market combined.

-McAfee Cloud Security