5 Cloud Security Trends Online Businesses Need to Know About

Derek Miller
by Derek Miller 01 Feb, 2017

The cloud already plays an important role for businesses in a wide range of industries. If you have an online business that uses the cloud, you should know about these security trends. They will affect how much protection your organization gets from its cloud service provider.

Increased Migration to the Cloud Could put Companies in Danger

Cloud migration has been increasing for several years. According to a survey conducted by TechTarget, 41 percent of companies planned to increase their cloud spending in 2016.

It's obvious why so many companies want to migrate their data and services to the cloud. Cloud-based technology reduces costs, makes it easier for employees to collaborate, updates automatically and scales according to the enterprise's needs.

Unfortunately, increased migration to the cloud will mean that more companies face new security dangers. Without help from trained professionals, companies that adopt cloud technology may put themselves in harm's way without knowing it.

Data Breaches Continue Causing Problems for Businesses

As more companies adopt cloud technology, hackers will put more of their efforts into finding and exploiting vulnerabilities. In 2016, over 500 companies reported security breaches by July. Like everyone else, criminals want to work in fields that give them a lot of opportunities. If your company doesn't have robust security for the cloud, then you will become a target.

Cloud access security brokers (CASB) have become one of the most effective ways for businesses to protect themselves from savvy hackers who know how to exploit cloud vulnerabilities. Some experts believe that 85 percent of large enterprises will use CASBs by 2020. In 2015, only 5 percent used them.

A CASB can offer your business a lot of benefits. The best types of CASB can identify shadow IT cloud services, encrypt your data while uploading it to the cloud, recognize uncommon behaviors that may result from hacking and give employees different levels of data access.

Governments Get More Involved in Cloud Security

Cloud security affects governments as well as companies and individuals. Over the next few years, you can expect to see more government agencies get involved in cloud security. This could happen in several ways. In the United States, the government may issue new regulations that force cloud service providers to follow security standards. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) arguably has authority to demand higher levels of security. Whether or not the FTC acts will depend on whether the GOP-led Congress decides the country needs better regulations to prevent hackers from disrupting parts of the economy.

Federal and state governments could also choose to invest in companies that offer the highest levels of security. Withholding government contracts would offer plenty of motivation for large cloud service providers to adopt more robust standards. As service providers compete for government contracts, they would have to improve security features to benefit all of their clients.

Amazon and Azure Will Become More Competitive

Amazon Web Services (AWS) dominates the cloud industry. Some estimates show that the company controls about 28 percent of the industry. Microsoft Azure takes second place with about 10 percent of the cloud services industry.

Don't expect to see those percentages change much over the next year. You can, however, expect AWS and Azure to get more competitive with each other as they try to steal business from each other.

AWS and Azure will likely invest in a wide range of services to attract more clients. Security, however, will play the most prominent role. Both companies currently use a shared security model. They provide some basic security for their platforms, but they leave most of the work to their clients. This may start to change slowly in 2017 as AWS and Azure realize that some potential clients stay away from cloud services because they don't trust the security.

It will take a long time for AWS and Azure to implement security standards that relieve clients of their responsibilities. You should expect to see them roll out a few new security features, which is nice for some small businesses, but you will still need to pay close attention to your own security measures.

Smaller Cloud Providers Will Make Bold Claims

AWS and Azure might dominate the cloud industry, but several small cloud service providers have been able to find some success by offering niche products to their clients. Unfortunately, some of those companies will make bold claims that they don't have the technology to implement.

When small cloud providers claim that they offer more robust security services, you should ask to see some evidence that they can compete with larger providers. In many cases, you will find that they will have more promises than case studies.

In other words, even boutique cloud service providers may not offer the level of security that you need to protect your business, so you still need to institute your own policies and tools.

Cloud security will continue to evolve with new technology. Learning more about upcoming security threats and how cloud service providers plan to defend themselves will make it easier to keep your private information away from hackers.  

Derek Miller is a content marketing consultant for CopyPress, which is a leading digital content production company, specializing in articles, infographics, interactives, and videos.