The cloud security market reported strong growth in 2014, with more bullishness ahead from analysts who believe that new software-defined technology will help managed security providers scale their services. So says a new report out by Infonetics Research, which showed that the cloud security services market grew by 13.5 percent last year to $7.2 billion worldwide.

"Our long-term outlook for the already very large cloud and CPE managed security services market, especially for cloud services, is quite strong as providers begin to leverage their software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) rollouts to really scale the delivery of managed security services," said Jeff Wilson, research director for cybersecurity technology at Infonetics Research.


Cloud security offerings climbed up to 46 percent of security service revenue in 2014, reported Infonetics, which pegged the overall managed security revenue at $15.8 billion globally. Today the largest contributor to cloud-based security service revenue is content security, with managed firewall services and distributed denial of service (DDoS) making up the top single-service categories.

Infonetics reports that cloud security will likely surpass CPE-based security services in overall spend by 2018. According to Wilson, expect to see an even wider range of security services offering virtual appliances that through SDN can help better secure public, private and hybrid clouds environments.

"Providers are leaning heavily on SDN and the promise of NFV, and this will help them deliver a wide range of new security services that leverage virtual appliances for protecting applications, data and infrastructure in their own clouds, and delivering new services to customers," Wilson said.

This tracks well with the buzz at Interop last week where security and SDN were hot topics. In fact, during his keynote, Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure for Google, predicted that cloud security will likely soon surpass on premises enterprise security in effectiveness.

"It is actually much easier to build security at scale for a homogeneous platform than to solve security for your own on-premises 'snowflake' environment where there is no other like it in the entire world," he says. "I think just a few years from now when your auditor comes to you , we will be in a situation where they might flag your on-premises set-up as a risk."