Cloud is big business today. Forrester estimates that global cloud services revenues totaled $114 billion in 2016, up from $68 billion just two years ago — that’s annual growth of 30%. And we see the public cloud services market reaching $236 billion by 2020. What does this mean for cloud security?

·         This rapid shift to the cloud raises new issues and challenges for security and risk professionals. Traditional perimeter-based security tools do little to protect cloud workloads. Securing data and applications that reside in the cloud is increasingly critical as more mission-critical apps and high-value data and intellectual property move to the cloud.

·         Cloud security solutions are quickly evolving to meet these challenges. Our recently published Forrester Data: Cloud Security Solutions Forecast, 2016 To 2021 (Global) shows that we expect spending on global cloud security solutions to reach $3.5 billion by 2021 — an annual growth rate of 28% over the next five years. In the forecast, we examine four types of cloud security solutions: cloud security gateways; centralized cloud security management; hypervisor security; and native infrastructure-as-a-service/platform-as-a-service security.

·         Spending on cloud security spending is growing rapidly and attracting vendor attention. We estimate that total global spending on security software was $24 billion in 2016 and will grow 10% annually in 2017 and 2018. While spending on cloud security solutions is relatively small today compared with total spending on security software, its rapid growth is attracting the attention of more traditional security tech vendors. Larger tech vendors are quickly entering and consolidating the space via acquisitions. BlueCoat acquired both Perspecsys and Elastica in 2015 before being acquired by Symantec in 2016. HPE acquired Voltage in early 2015. Microsoft acquired Adallom for a reported $320 million in September 2015. Cisco acquired CloudLock in August 2016 for $293 million. Oracle acquired Palerra in September 2016. These well-funded new entrants will help drive growth by incorporating cloud security solutions into their overall product offering.

Forrester clients can learn more about cloud security solutions in these reports by my colleague Andras Cser: Brief: The Emergence Of The Cloud Security Gateway; Create Your Cloud Security Technology Strategy And Road Map; and The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Security Gateways, Q4 2016