Cloud Providers Scurry for Security

By Doug Barney

In the early days of the cloud, security was the number one reason IT gave to not make the move. While these fears are less than they were, cloud providers would love for them to go away entirely. And they are spending a lot of money to do so.

Infonetics Research looked at all these issues in its 2013 Cloud and Data Center Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey.

The main finding? Service providers see security as job number one.

And an issue with speed of the solutions, as they are looking for hyper-fast tools to match their super-fast networks.

“The primary concern right now among service providers operating data centers is getting the security infrastructure to match the performance of the network infrastructure,” said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research.

“When it comes to protecting data centers, nothing drives service providers to invest in security solutions more than the performance requirements driven by infrastructure upgrades and the increasing size and scale of attacks.”

This has providers looking at faster firewalls. By 2015, almost 2/3 will move to firewalls that can run at 100G-499G, and about a third will need firewalls that run even faster.

IT security questions became more pressing after the NSA revelations, and providers are scurrying for answers to keep customers from fleeing to overseas cloud operations. “Wilson adds: "The recent disclosures about the NSA stealing data from prominent data centers are causing a new wave of panic, forcing cloud and data center providers to feverishly shore up their networks and systems,” Wilson said.

Value of the Cloud

Security is a tough job, one made easier and cheaper by the cloud. First, instead of carrying capital expense for the security infrastructure, you pay a subscription fee shifting the model to operating expense. Even better, IT no longer has to manage the servers and software that hold the security tools. Now they can focus on more strategic functions, functions that add business value and competitive advantage.

With a proper cloud solution, the service provider does most of the work and deploys the software in highly secure, redundant and available data centers. Management is eased through the fact that you are only managing the functions rather than infrastructure. And you should expect an easy to use Web console to take care of key management, monitoring and reporting functions. 

With an on-premises approach, when you add new software you often have to provision new hardware, set up network connections, and install and configure the application. The cloud adds services often with a simple click of the mouse. And the service should discover and configure all the devices that need covering. Once the service is installed it benefits from the ease of use and powerful economics the cloud provides.

IT Drives Demand

While IT wants their clouds to be secure, at the same time they are using these clouds to secure their overall networks. Gartner says the cloud-based security market will move from $2.1 billion in 2013 all the way to $3.1 billion in 2015.

Infonetics Research looked at cloud security services and saw even more to like. It sees the market growing at a 10.8 percent CAGR all the way till 2015 when it hits $9.2 billion.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

MSPToday Editor at Large

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