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Enterprise Cloud Providers Keep Pushing Towards Security

By sarahgreen
— Last Updated: 2018-02-18T06:36:15+00:00

Within the past few months, we saw enterprise cloud providers like Box and Salesforce releasing secure cloud solutions for organizations that operate in regulated industries. While IBM launched a platform designed to minimize security risks associated with BYOA and Shadow IT.

On September 18th, IBM announced the general availability of Cloud Security Enforcer whose main purpose is to enable businesses to manage mobile employees more effectively.

The platform includes advanced security features that address the most critical points in enterprise security management, which only gets more complex as more and more workloads move to remote servers. After nearly a decade of constant discussions revolving around the implied cloud security risks, such a focus is not at all surprising.

In fact, it only enforces the view that the cloud is yet about to reach its full potential and become available to a greater variety of organizations. The major value, of course, is the fact that the increased competition will bring more solutions, while keeping the prices low (see current prices in our cloud services comparison chart).

More Solutions for Regulated Industries

The adoption of cloud solutions in regulated industries has always been slower than in small business, education and enterprise. Given the strictness of their compliance requirements, finance, healthcare and government institutions justifiably hesitated when migrating to the cloud.

New solutions, however, aim to change this. With Box’s new add-on service that comes with enhanced data protection features, these institutions should be better equipped for sharing sensitive data records.

Box Governance delivers control and compliance in the cloud by enabling users to seamlessly manage the entire life-cycle of their business documents, from creation to retention and finally disposition, and all on a single platform.

Salesforce Shield, on the other hand, brings the necessary scalability to organizations’ CRM processes. With features such as platform encryption, field audit trail and event monitoring, user databases are sufficiently protected and enable seamless communication across departments and platforms.

Commenting on this release, Tod Nielsen, executive VP of Salesforce1 Platform says:

“While many companies are leveraging the cloud to build apps at the speed of business, those in regulated industries have struggled to take full advantage of the cloud due to regulatory and compliance constraints.”

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Mobile-Enabled Businesses Operate More Securely

In addition to regulated industries, mobile-enabled small and medium sized businesses are facing an increased problem of managing BYOA, shadow IT and the emerging security risks associated with the fact more employees are accessing company network and sharing data via their mobile devices.

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Some of the critical stats are neatly presented on this infographic by Mobile Shop and conspicuously show potentially dangerous trends related to mobile apps use in business setting: 1 in 5 employees use cloud apps without the knowledge of their IT admins. And 72 percent of executives don’t know how many shadow IT applications are used in their companies

Considering the figures, IBM obviously found quite a lucrative market to invest in. Their solution is now currently among the most promising ones in the field of shadow IT management.

With the ability to track mobile users’ app data and identify potentially malicious applications, IBM’s Cloud Security Enforcer definitely represents a serious business security resource. Given the figures outlined above, it also has a great potential for expansion.

Secure Enterprise Collaboration

I recently covered the growing challenges related to the cloud implementation in the enterprise ecosystem and this definitely remains one of the most problematic sectors in terms of cloud implementation.

Although large companies still favor dedicated servers over the cloud, recent surveys suggest that they are more readily experimenting with the hybrid cloud. In relation to this, Righscale’s 2015 State of the Cloud survey reveals:

  • 82% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy, compared to 74% in 2014
  • 55% or enterprises are planning for hybrid clouds

Evidently, enterprise is still trying to find suitable solutions to create a more productive workspace. Apart from Box, which is still one of the preferred business solutions for secure file storage and sharing, other vendors too have entered the race, offering some highly competitive solutions.

HighQ has developed a full-featured platform aimed at this segment in particular. Using the advanced security features coupled with intuitive content sharing and management platforms, HighQ expands the opportunities for enterprise collaboration.

Together with the big names above, HighQ and other vendors are working to improve the overall security in the cloud. This certainly contributes to a more positive perception of the cloud in the setting and promises an increased adoption in the next few years.

The Changing Landscape

The solutions mentioned above definitely imply a stable expansion of the cloud in a greater number of different industries. This is particularly true for regulated industries, where the adoption rates significantly lag behind most other sectors.

The new solutions enable them to maintain the necessary level of security, while improving the efficiency of their critical processes. For vendors, of course, the new offering represents a unique opportunity to get a significant share of the cloud market pie, which is to further grow in the following years.

Namely, according to MarketWatch, the cloud security market has only started its expansion and is expected to reach $8.71 billion by 2019.

This digit alone implies an even more accelerated development of secure cloud solutions, which the recent launches definitely support. Apart from Box, Salesforce and IBM, other cloud vendors are expected to enter the market with even more innovative and more secure solutions.

Conclusion

The extent to which this will change adoption rates in different industries remains to be seen, but we can certainly expect some revolutionary ideas. Cloud security has been a burning topic in the IT industry for years and tech analysts have been always hoping that this market will yield some amazing solutions… eventually.

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With the ones launched in the last few months, their hopes finally seem to be coming true. Do you think more enterprise cloud providers have solutions on the horizon? Let us know in the comments below.