One of the long-time concerns companies have had about the cloud is the security risk of putting data into a shared environment managed by a service provider. So it’s interesting that one of the growing segments of the market is cloud-based security services. New research from Gartner Inc. says the cloud-based security services market will be worth $2.1 billion in 2013, rising to $3.1 billion in 2015. The firm says growth in cloud-based security will remain strong.

“Encryption will be a new area of growth, but it remains a complex activity,” Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. “The strongest interest will be in encryption products from cloud security brokers, which are relatively easy to deploy and have options for on-premises encryption management."

Gartner predicts that the top three most sought-after cloud services will remain email security, Web security services and identity and access management. However, in 2013 and 2014, the highest growth is forecast for cloud-based tokenisation and encryption, security information and event management, vulnerability assessment and Web application firewalls.

Overall adoption of software-as-a-service applications and other cloud-based services encourages organizations to adopt cloud-based security controls, Gartner says. These are delivered either as standalone features or as part of an integrated SaaS package.

Managed security services are also driving adoption of cloud-based security services among enterprises, the firm notes. MSS delivery models are in turn being affected by demand for cloud-based security services, which is enabling security providers to become de facto MSS players.

"The benefits of deploying cloud-based security services are clear," Kelly Kavanagh, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "Aside from the broad area of IAM, specific controls, such as encryption, are becoming vital to the adoption of cloud computing."

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