Cloud security spending to hit $3.5bn by 2021, says Forrester

Cloud security spending is set to hit $3.5 billion (£2.74bn) by 2021 at a 28% annual growth rate, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

The report, authored by analysts Jennifer Adams and Andras Cser, discusses a variety of trends, from cloud security risk, to traditional security tools.

According to the figures, cloud security gateways will continue to be the primary route of global spending, contributing to $1.6bn – or 45% – of the overall figure by 2021. Native infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) will come in to the tune of $1.1bn, while hypervisor security and centralised cloud workload security management are at $0.5bn and $0.3bn respectively.

Financial services represent the larger market for cloud services today and will continue to do so until at least 2021, the report adds. This marks an interesting point – the report rightly points out that the idea of cloud-based services in financial would be ‘controversial’ and ‘radical’ just a few years ago – but the industry is embracing it today to reduce costs and stay competitive. The report also earmarked retail, government, and professional services – such as consultants, law firms, and advertising agencies – as industries to look out for.

Writing in a blog post, Adams noted the upward trends, although warning about the nascence of the market. “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,” Adams wrote. “Larger tech vendors are quickly entering and consolidating the space via acquisitions.”

This isn’t the same story for everyone; take for instance Netskope, the acclaimed ‘cloud access security broker’ who announced a $100 million boost in series E funding earlier this month. Yet recent acquisitions in the space, as Adams notes, include Microsoft acquiring Adallom in 2015, as well as Cisco buying CloudLock, and Oracle acquiring Palerra in 2016.

Either way, the trend is inexorable as old school security fails to live up to the task. “Traditional perimeter-based security tools do little to protect cloud workloads, and do it yourself internal solutions can be costly to develop and consume variable in-house IT resources,” the report notes. “We expect most companies to look to commercial off the shelf solutions for their cloud security needs.”

You can find out more and read the full report here (paid).