Gartner – Cloud Security Predictions for 2013

Gartner has released what 2013 holds for IT organizations and users. The predictions of the consulting focus on economic risks, opportunities and innovations that CIOs adopt to foster a new generation of highly oriented business solutions.

In the new report entitled, “Predicts 2013: Security Solutions,” Gartner states that increased adoption of cloud-based computing is expected to impact the way security is consumed as well as how key government agencies will prioritize security of public cloud infrastructure.

Gartner predicts by 2015, 10 percent of overall IT security enterprise product will be delivered in the cloud focusing on messaging, Web security and remote vulnerability assessment, and cloud-based security services will generate merger and acquisition activity involving small and midsize cloud-based security specialists. As the trend will continue, Gartner expects that cloud-based security services will overtake those of traditional on-premises security equipment in next three years.

The buying behavior changes for different organizational sizes, for example large enterprise selects security as a service to reduce costs of ongoing maintenance of security tools and to simplify their security programs or provide them more flexibility. In some cases security as a service—specifically vulnerability assessment services—are used simply to comply with external scan requirements of PCI, says the report.

The biggest opportunities currently center on areas such as messaging and Web security as well as remote vulnerability assessment; however, as maturity evolves, expect a wide variety of security offerings, such as data loss prevention (DLP), encryption and authentication, to be increasingly available in the cloud, according to the report.

Many companies seek first opportunities to migrate their existing workloads to a cloud computing system and/or application infrastructure. This approach may offer advantages when the workload exhibits a highly variable resource requirements or when the application lends itself naturally to horizontal scalability. Virtualization technologies come handy in this case and Gartner predicts by 2015, 20 percent of the virtual private network (VPN)-firewall market will be deployed in a virtual switch on a hypervisor rather than as a physical security appliance.

Virtual switches allow for new firewall players such as host-based security software companies to enter the network firewall market, the report notes. Since a virtual switch is one level of abstraction away from the physical data switch ports, providing network security is no longer just for physical network providers.

VMware’s edge firewall could expand virtual switch firewall adoption to beyond just the data center. To date, the virtual firewall market has been limited to data-center-class firewalls, which make up the minority of the total firewall market. A push from the virtual providers to bring their technology to the edge could be a key accelerator to the virtual switch market growth.

Hypervisor providers are moving firewall offerings from the data center to the network edge. This could be key for new network firewall players leveraging hypervisor technologies to gain firewall market share outside of the data center, Gartner summarizes in the report.

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