Cloud computing is becoming increasingly prevalent. Most internet users benefit from it every day, whether they realize it or not. The global public cloud computing market reached $146 billion in 2017, Forbes notes, and it continues to grow.
With this new technology, however, comes new security concerns. Breaches of cloud data are common. Cloud platforms have been the victim of hackers as well as bugs. Yahoo experienced one of the largest attacks in September 2016. The company said that hackers compromised around 3 billion accounts.
Cloud technology is growing so quickly cyber-security experts are having trouble keeping up. In 2018, we will have to make progress on security related to the cloud so we can keep our data safe. Cyber-security will be a central theme in cloud computing world in 2018. Here are some of the top predictions for this coming year.
The Market Will Continue to Grow
Market research company Forrester recently released its cloud computing predictions for 2018, and it looks as though the technology will, not surprisingly, continue to gain ground, Forbes notes.
Forrester predicts the global public cloud computing market will rise from $146 billion to $178 billion in 2018 and will continue to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22%. Public cloud platforms are expected to be the fastest-growing sector, generating $44 billion.
In 2018, we will surpass the landmark at which half of all global enterprises use cloud computing. This coming year, it will become the platform the majority of companies use.
The Industry Will Consolidate
Forrester warns companies not to expect any new major players in the cloud sphere to emerge in 2018. Rather, its report says, the established big cloud companies will continue to gain ground.
Specifically, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft will get 76% of all revenue from cloud platforms in 2018 and earn 80% by 2020, Forbes says. AWS will continue to hold by far the biggest share of the public cloud market. Although Microsoft will decrease the gap a bit, it still has a long way to go since AWS already has almost half of the market.
Software as a Service (SaaS) companies will likely run at least part of their services on one of the big-name platforms and place less priority on their own platforms to expand their reach globally.
Expansion Will Expose More Vulnerabilities
The amount of data in the cloud is mounting constantly at a rapid pace. Social media activity, web browser usage, mobile devices, Internet of Things technology and more all create data. Our data storage needs are intensifying, and more and more of us are turning to the cloud to meet them.
Storing all of this data in the cloud offers many benefits. We can easily access our information from anywhere, and we can share it with our friends. Businesses can glean valuable insights from their customer data and information about their daily operations.
However, each one of these new cloud connections is another potential security vulnerability. With hackers able to steal more than 24,000 records with each new theft, it’s easy to see why cyber-security is at the forefront of conversations concerning use of the cloud. Cyber-security professionals will work tirelessly to beat the bad actors to it, but because the cloud is increasing so quickly, this will present quite a challenge.
Companies Will Create More Jobs With New Skill Requirements
As the cloud expands, jobs associated with it will proliferate as well, especially cyber security jobs. We already don’t have enough people with the right skills to be security professionals, so training and education will have to be a primary focus going forward. The demand for cyber-security workers is predicted to grow to 6 million worldwide in 2018.
These security pros will also need to learn new skills to keep up with evolving technology. In fact, they’ll have to continually work on staying up to date with the latest changes. Technologies such as artificial intelligence will become more prevalent in the cyber security realm, meaning security workers will need to know how to manage it as well as other advanced tech.
Enterprises Will Develop Security Guidelines
As cloud platforms become more established and more companies get used to using them, firms will begin creating cloud security guidelines to protect themselves from cyber threats. According to Gartner Inc., 20% of companies will develop data security governance programs.
Gartner recommends companies identify gaps in their data security policy and, if necessary, obtain cyberinsurance. The group also predicts that, by 2020, 80% of cloud access security broker deals will include secure web gateway (SWG), network firewall and web application firewall (WAF) platforms.
More Companies Will Use Containers
Many large companies already use containers to isolate applications and enhance security. Smaller ones often don’t yet, but we will probably see an increase in container use in 2018. This containerization will allow companies to move their cloud data back and forth across platforms more easily. We will also likely see a shift from third-party container solutions to native ones.
Most Attacks Will Target Known Vulnerabilities
Gartner predicts that almost all cyber attacks will take place on vulnerabilities security professionals already knew about for at least a year. New kinds of hacks won’t likely post significant threats.
For this reason, Gartner recommends companies put most of their efforts into fixing the weaknesses they’re already aware of, rather than searching for new ones or waiting to clean up after a breach occurs. While companies shouldn’t ignore potential new vulnerabilities, known ones should be the main focus, according to Gartner.
Embracing Innovation As We Move Ahead
Cloud computing is rising rapidly — so rapidly cloud security is struggling to keep up. Companies want to move to the cloud because of its many organizational, storage and IT benefits, but they should be careful they’re not ignoring cyber security issues.
Data breaches and mishaps have become almost commonplace as use of the cloud outpaces security capabilities. The industry is now scrambling to quickly improve security, creating a huge opportunity for growth in the security field.
While using the cloud does have its risks, it also has many benefits that still make it an attractive option for a wide variety of users. Rather than abandon the cloud, companies should put in continuous effort to stay on top of security trends and remain constantly vigilant — because that’s what the hackers will do.