Cloud Concerns: Data security breaches remain a key challenge

Trends and Developments , April 18, 2017

The adoption of the cloud technology across public and private entities is on the rise. As per market reports, around 80 per cent of organisations in India are willing to invest their time, money and skill on cloud-based services over the next three years. While a shift to the cloud enhances business efficiency and brings down capex, it also increases the chances of data security breaches, which may have serious repercussions on various industries.

The market for cloud computing is prone to threats such as data breaches, data loss and insecure application programming interfaces. Therefore, there is a growing need to develop a proper cloud security market that is able to provide a secure environment for both cloud providers and customers.

Need for cloud security

The growing adoption of cloud services by enterprises and the rapidly growing trend of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and choose-your-own-device (CYOD) has led to an increased reliance on cloud-based services. Organisations depend on the cloud for storage and other applications. The increase in the adoption of these services results in the need for a more secure cloud environment.

There has also been an increase in the number of cyber attacks due to an upsurge in digitisation. The incidences of data theft have increased exponentially over the past five years, owing to the increased generation of digital content and lack of security to protect financial and corporate data. This has strengthened the need for a strong cloud-security market.

Market growth and composition

The global cloud security market was valued at $1.84 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 39.36 per cent between 2017 and 2022. The Indian market mirrors this optimism. The high growth rate projections can be attributed to the changing trend among organisations to shift from traditional on-site cloud security measures to software-oriented solutions provided by cloud service vendors themselves.

Primarily, three types of vendors operate in the cloud security market. These comprise pure-play security vendors, traditional security solution providers and diversified IT vendors. Amongst these, diversified IT vendors hold the majority of the market share. This is because these companies serve a diversified base of end-users and have a strong technological leadership and reseller networks. Some of the key vendors in the cloud security market are Cisco Systems, International Business Machines Corporation, Symantec Corporation, Trend Micro, CA Technologies, Microsoft Corporation and Intel Corporation.

Issues and challenges

The challenges in the cloud security market are of three broad types: deployment model challenges, service model challenges and network challenges. The deployment of cloud services can be done in different ways, depending on the organisational structure and location. The deployment models can be divided into public, private and hybrid sub-categories. These models face several challenges such as cloning, which deals with the duplication and replication of data. Resource pooling implies unauthorised access due to sharing the same network. This implies that the customer has no control over the exact location of the resources. Moreover, various service providers and users allow the sharing of different resources to increase facility of access, which leads to data breach problems.

Further, cloud models themselves can be divided into software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). These models present different security challenges that are based on the model and the consumer’s quality of service (QoS) requirements.

Lastly, the market faces certain network-related challenges. An organisation may suffer from a malware injection attack or certain browser security issues, which may tarnish the network and prevent the deployment of cloud-security software.


Although organisations seem to be rapidly adopting the cloud technology, the cloud security market in India is still at a nascent stage. It is, however, set to grow in the coming years as several leading global vendors are showing interest in developing the market in India. For instance, in November 2016, Cisco announced its plans to set up advanced data centres and deploy cloud-based security solutions for the government and enterprises in India. The growing interest shown by such organisations can be attributed to the evolution of the banking sector and growing e-commerce players, which are driving the need for next-gen cloud-based security solutions. Moreover, the government’s Digital India and Smart Cities initiatives, which will utilise cloud-based services, would also drive the adoption of cloud-based security solutions in the future.


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