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The impact of the cloud on data security

The cloud-based security market is poised for significant growth in the next few years.

Data security is often a point of contention when considering third-party infrastructure. However, this issue may become a value proposition for cloud computing services as advanced cyberthreats bypass traditional security mechanisms. Part of the challenge, according to CloudTweaks contributor Akash Valand, is the lack of support for internal IT environments.

"Cybercrime is often the result of poor security protocols and unaffordable IT support for many businesses and individuals," the article stated. "Weak wireless passwords and unencrypted, solid-state storage are often cited as the biggest threats to online security. The advancement of cloud computing offers a reliable solution to these vulnerabilities."

Because cloud providers are dedicated to both protecting their customers' data and ensuring their environments perform well, architectures in the cloud exhibit fewer weaknesses than their on-premise counterparts. Furthermore, large vendors configure their their systems to encrypt information as it moves throughout their ecosystems. When configured properly, this limits the risk that a single breach presents because not all sensitive data is stored in a single place.

In addition to a potentially more secure architecture, the cloud's safeguards are likely to be further improved by maturity in the cloud-based security software market. CSO's John Mello highlighted several statistics to showcase the growth in this area, including a Gartner prediction that cloud security software will be worth $9.2 billion by 2015. Mello identified two core drivers behind this trend. The first is an increased comfort level in cloud-based offerings, making it more attractive to implement security within these environments. 

The second factor is the evolution of mobile technology and its incorporation into business environments. With data spread across so many places, security can no longer be device-centric. This puts cloud offerings in a good position since they are not focused on protecting users' hardware.