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The Hype Cycle for Cloud Security in 2021: What to Expect

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What is the Hype Cycle for Cloud Security?

Hype Cycle for Cloud Security

The Hype Cycle for Cloud Security is an approach used to analyze the progress and adoption of cloud security technologies. This cycle is a graphic depiction representing the maturity of technologies and their potential value over time. The hype cycle depicts various stages of technology progression, from the early experimentation phase to a mature and stable phase.

Every year, Gartner releases a “Hype Cycle for Cloud Security” report that highlights different cloud security technologies’ maturity. The report presents cloud security trends, evaluates their maturity, and offers predictions on future developments. The hype cycle represents the different stages that these trends go through before they become mainstream.

The Gartner hype cycle is broken down into five distinct phases: the “Innovation Trigger,” the “Peak of Inflated Expectations,” the “Trough of Disillusionment,” the “Slope of Enlightenment,” and the “Plateau of Productivity.” Each stage of this cycle represents a different phase of technology life-cycle and its maturity.

1. Innovation Trigger:

The “Innovation Trigger” stage is the starting point of the hype cycle, where a new cloud security technology or trend captures people’s attention. It usually comes from new start-ups, small vendors, or research institutions that announce new innovative solutions.

The innovation trigger stage is characterized by a lot of buzz and excitement around the technology. However, it’s important to note that the technology has yet to prove itself or attain significant adoption in the market.

At this stage, cloud security technologies are usually untested, and their potential value is purely speculative. This phase is often marked by limited availability or compatibility with other technologies in the market.

It’s essential to note that not all technologies pass through every stage of the hype cycle. Some may drop out of the cycle due to lack of interest or funding, while others may move through the cycle swiftly.

Examples of technology in the Innovation Trigger stage for cloud security in 2021 include Zero Trust Security, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), and Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB).

Where does Cloud Security stand in 2021’s Hype Cycle?

Cloud Security Hype Cycle 2021

Cloud security has become an increasingly significant aspect of cybersecurity. The increasing popularity of cloud computing, coupled with the rise in cyber-attacks, has resulted in an elevated need for robust cloud security measures. As a result, cloud security has earned a place in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Security 2021. The Hype Cycle provides an overview of how advanced technologies mature over time, and cloud security is one of the technologies that has moved from the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” phase to the “Plateau of Productivity” phase.

The Plateau of Productivity is the point in the Hype Cycle where an innovation’s advantages are widely recognized and accepted, and widespread implementation is taking place. It is a phase where extensive experimentation and development have yielded effective solutions that are being deployed in real-world scenarios. Cloud security has reached this stage due to the increasing focus on cloud security by businesses worldwide, along with the emergence of successful cloud security solutions in recent years. This phase is crucial as it marks the beginning of clear-cut usage of advanced security technologies in mainstream business activities.

Cloud security has shown tremendous progress, and though many businesses still have doubts over adopting it, it has gained the trust of a considerable number of companies. The pandemic has also played a role in accelerating the transformation towards cloud security. Remote work has made it evident that cloud security is the way to move ahead. With an increase in cloud adoption, the need for efficient cloud security measures is at an all-time high, making cloud security a priority for businesses all over the world.

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However, despite the many benefits and growing adoption of cloud security, it is still not one of the mainstream disciplines of cybersecurity. The public cloud is still not wholly trusted by many businesses due to several data breaches and security misconfigurations. Even though a significant proportion of security breaches in the cloud occur due to user error, companies must take measures to ensure the security of their cloud assets. This means proper planning, implementation, and management of cloud security measures that cater to their specific needs.

A recent report by Gartner estimates that by next year, 60% of companies will adopt cloud accessibility brokers (CABs) for providing Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) capabilities and other security-related services to their cloud resources. Additionally, cloud workload protection platforms (CWPPs) will be implemented by 30% of businesses to secure cloud workloads served by multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud architectures.

In conclusion, Cloud security has come a long way since it first appeared on the Gartner Hype Cycle. It is now a critical cybersecurity discipline that businesses worldwide recognize. However, several hurdles still need to be traversed before cloud security takes its place as a mainstream cybersecurity discipline. Even so, with advancements in technologies such as CABs and CWPPs, cloud security is slowly but surely making strides towards the “Slope of Enlightenment” phase, where a technology has reached broad acceptance and starts to be widely adopted.

Key Trends Impacting Cloud Security Hype Cycle in 2021

Key Trends Impacting Cloud Security Hype Cycle in 2021

As the use of the cloud continues to grow, so does the importance of cloud security. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in the cloud, making it essential for businesses to stay up-to-date on the latest trends impacting cloud security. Here are three key trends to watch for in 2021:

1. Increased Automation of Cloud Security

Increased Automation of Cloud Security

With the growth of the cloud, security professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the number of potential threats they face. To address this challenge, many businesses are turning to automation to help them manage their security systems. Automation tools can help identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, as well as respond to those threats in real-time. This allows businesses to respond to cyberattacks more quickly and effectively, minimizing the potential damage they can cause.

In 2021, we can expect to see an increased use of automation tools like threat intelligence platforms, security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, and security orchestration and automation response (SOAR) platforms. These tools will help businesses gain a more complete view of their security posture, identify potential vulnerabilities, and respond to threats more quickly and efficiently.

2. The Rise of Zero Trust Security

The Rise of Zero Trust Security

Zero Trust security has been around for a few years now, but it’s only recently that it’s started to gain real traction. Zero Trust is an approach to security that assumes that all users, devices, and applications are untrusted until proven otherwise. This means that access to resources is granted on a need-to-know basis, and that users are constantly verified before they’re allowed to access those resources.

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The rise of the cloud has made Zero Trust more important than ever before. With employees accessing business-critical resources from a variety of different devices and locations, it’s essential to ensure that each user and device is authenticated and authorized before they can access those resources. In 2021, we can expect to see more businesses adopting Zero Trust security as a way to protect their critical data and applications in the cloud.

3. The Impact of COVID-19 on Cloud Security

The Impact of COVID-19 on Cloud Security

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on virtually every aspect of our lives, including cloud security. With many employees now working remotely, businesses have had to adopt new security measures to ensure that their data and applications remain secure. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have been quick to take advantage of the chaos and confusion caused by the pandemic, using phishing attacks and other tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in remote access systems and cloud-based applications.

In 2021, we can expect to see an increased focus on the security risks associated with remote working, as well as an increased use of cloud-based security solutions to help protect remote employees and their devices. Businesses will also need to stay vigilant and invest in regular employee training and awareness campaigns to help minimize the risk of cyberattacks while working remotely.

The Adoption of Zero Trust Architecture

Zero Trust Architecture

As organizations continue to shift their operations to cloud-based environments, cyber threats and attacks also increase. To protect their assets and data, companies need to adopt a more robust security framework that goes beyond traditional network firewalls. In this context, Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) is gaining momentum in 2021.

ZTA is a security model that assumes that every user, device, and application within a network could potentially be compromised. Therefore, it requires continuous verification of users and devices, least privilege access, and strict segmentation of the network. The idea is to never trust anything, everything needs to be verified, and access should be granted based on a “need to know” basis.

The Hype Cycle for Cloud Security 2021 states that ZTA is currently in the innovation trigger stage, meaning that it is an emerging trend with the potential to disrupt the market. However, Gartner expects it to mature in the next two to five years.

The adoption of ZTA offers several benefits for companies. It provides a more granular control of network access, reduces the risk of lateral movement by hackers, and strengthens data protection policies. Moreover, ZTA can help organizations comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA by providing better visibility and control of sensitive data.

As more organizations embrace cloud-based operations and remote workforces continue to grow, the adoption of ZTA will become more prevalent in 2021.


hype cycle cloud security 2021

As more businesses shift their operations to the cloud, the demand for cloud security solutions continues to grow. The hype around cloud security is justified, given the significant benefits it offers in terms of flexibility, scalability, and cost savings. However, it’s crucial to approach cloud security with a well-informed strategy rather than blindly following the hype cycle. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices to leverage the hype cycle for cloud security in 2021.

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1. Understand the Hype Cycle

hype cycle chart

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand the hype cycle and its various stages. The hype cycle is a graphical representation of the maturity, adoption, and social application of any technology or innovation. The hype cycle comprises five stages: innovation trigger, peak of inflated expectations, trough of disillusionment, slope of enlightenment, and plateau of productivity.

While cloud security is still in its early stages, it has passed the innovation trigger and the peak of inflated expectations and is currently in the trough of disillusionment. During this stage, interest and investment in cloud security have declined due to unmet expectations and failed implementations. However, it’s precisely during this stage that businesses should take a more cautious and informed approach to cloud security.

2. Conduct a Risk Assessment

cloud security risks

The second best practice for leveraging the hype cycle for cloud security in 2021 is to conduct a risk assessment. Before implementing any cloud security solution, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and threats associated with cloud computing. These risks include data breaches, account hijacking, DDoS attacks, and insider threats.

A comprehensive risk assessment should identify potential vulnerabilities, evaluate the likelihood and impact of a security breach, and provide recommendations for mitigating risk. Conducting a risk assessment can help businesses make informed decisions about cloud security solutions and prioritize investments based on the potential risks.

3. Choose the Right Cloud Security Solution

cloud security solutions

With a comprehensive risk assessment in hand, businesses can choose the right cloud security solution. Different cloud security solutions address different cloud security risks, and selecting the appropriate solution depends on the business’s specific requirements and risk tolerance.

There are several cloud security solutions available, including identity and access management (IAM), data encryption, network security, and application security. To select the right solution, businesses should consider factors such as the type of data being stored, compliance requirements, and the cloud service provider’s security features.

4. Implement Security Best Practices

cloud security best practices

Once a cloud security solution is selected, it’s crucial to implement best practices to ensure the solution’s effectiveness. These best practices include configuring the cloud environment correctly, implementing strong authentication and access control, and integrating logging and monitoring.

Additionally, it’s essential to educate employees on cloud security best practices and provide ongoing training and awareness. Employees can be a significant risk factor in cloud security, as human error and negligence are often the cause of security breaches.

5. Regularly Monitor and Update

cloud security monitoring

Finally, it’s critical to regularly monitor and update cloud security solutions to ensure they remain effective. The threat landscape is continually evolving, and new security vulnerabilities are discovered regularly. Therefore, it’s necessary to regularly review and update cloud security solutions to address the latest threats and vulnerabilities.

Regular monitoring and updating also enable businesses to identify and respond to security incidents promptly. It’s essential to have an incident response plan in place to address security incidents quickly and effectively.


cloud security conclusion

Leveraging the hype cycle for cloud security in 2021 can help businesses make informed decisions and ensure the effectiveness of their cloud security solutions. By understanding the hype cycle, conducting a risk assessment, choosing the right cloud security solution, implementing best practices, and regularly monitoring and updating, businesses can secure their cloud environments and protect their valuable data.