The number of applications migrating to the cloud has accelerated in recent months as providers address common concerns such as data protection and availability. In fact, perceptions surrounding the security of cloud environments have shifted enough to allow security-as-a-service to emerge as a potential delivery model for data protection and similar software.

Gartner recently predicted that the cloud is poised to shape the security market significantly, with an estimated 10 percent of all business security solutions to be delivered via cloud by 2015. One of the trends affecting the overall market is the demand for improving the safeguards designed to protect web-connected national infrastructure. Gartner believes that regulations governing these services will incorporate the use of cloud services by 2016.

Although government agencies have increasingly adopted the cloud as a way to reduce IT spending, the technology also affords benefits in a number of security-driven areas. This will allow cloud storage companies to expand their portfolios as demand for cost effective data protection solutions increases.

“The biggest opportunities currently center on areas such as messaging and web security as well as remote vulnerability assessment,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. “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. As new startup players establish themselves with innovative offerings, established players will look to acquire them to expand their portfolios with new capabilities and remain competitive.”

Adoption of cloud backup increases
Many companies are already planning to implement cloud storage into their data recovery strategies. A survey commission by backup provide EVault and conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne found that 60 percent of organizations are considering a hybrid data protection environment.

The research collected responses from companies based in a number of companies, including the United States, and noted that cloud storage is one of the critical components of a hybrid data protection solution. The expected shift to the cloud is marked by expanding volumes of data and proliferation of mobile devices. For example, 70 percent of respondents said the amount of digital information they must manage will climb in the next few years.

The need for improvement in data management was recognized by EVault in 2011. In an earlier survey, 24 percent of IT professionals said they didn’t tell their CEOs that they hadn’t backed up files. Trends such as bring-your-own-device contributed significantly to the difficulty due to the number of different places corporate data could be stored. As a result, cloud storage is becoming a more essential component of disaster recovery planning.

“As the proliferation of devices and their functionality increases so does the likelihood that employees will become more reliant on them for company use. Without a conscious plan for protecting data on mobile devices, companies’ data management strategies will have more holes than Swiss cheese,” said Terry Cunningham, president and general manager of EVault. “It is great news that 32 percent of the IT leaders surveyed are planning to implement a strategy to manage data loss from mobile devices including laptops, smartphones and tablets, and that 43 percent are planning or considering a disaster recovery plan for 2013.”

With companies entrusting an increasing number of operations to cloud technology and data volumes growing, capacity demand is likely to continue rising. This trend was also confirmed by EVault’s survey, which found that 66 percent of respondents planned to increase how much data they put in cloud storage.

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