Gartner's 2020 Hype Cycle for Cloud Security

3 min read
November 2, 2020

Over the past several years, companies have gradually been moving their data and work processes to the cloud. Some have been reluctant to make this move, though, most often because of concerns about cloud security. Even for the most avid supporters of cloud-based work, security is an important issue. And accordingly, Gartner has a Hype Cycle chart for visualizing where different technologies in cloud security currently lie in terms of the attention they're getting. These Hype Cycles are pretty interesting, so let's see what Gartner has to say about the state of cloud security today.

Cloud Security on the Hype Cycle Chart

Gartner chart shows the level of expectation over time, in regards to cloud security technologies.


From the Hype Cycle chart above you can see that expectations about a new technology tend to rapidly rise and then plummet again when the challenges of reality set in. With more time, successful technologies slowly rise once more until they reach a middle ground and become relatively stable in their productivity. Why don't we take a little ride on this hype roller coaster curve by looking at some example technologies?

Confidential Computing

Something like Confidential Computing, at the beginning of the cycle, could help ease worries about cloud privacy. It hides critical information from third parties, including the cloud host. This could be of good use to business sectors where privacy is especially important, such as insurance, financial services, and healthcare. But it's relatively new and just starting out on this journey that Gartner tracks, so it'll take a while before we can expect it to be productive and regularly used.

Secure Access Service Edge

If the acronym SASE makes you think of the old-fashioned Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelopes, think again: this is a buzzword that's much more sassy, and that's how its acronym is pronounced. Secure Access Service Edge is a set of cloud services that support branch office security and remote work access. With Zero Trust network access as one of its services, SASE is being rapidly adopted. Since COVID-19 has increased the need for secure remote work possibilities, this is a relevant technology, and it's at the peak of expectations on the Hype Cycle chart. By Gartner's prediction, expectations will fall before SASE makes more traction again, perhaps being used by 40% of enterprises by 2024.

Cloud Security Posture Management 

Here's one that's just coming out of that dreadful Trough of Disillusionment. It's seen its high expectations and taken the fall of its challenges, and now it's making good progress toward productivity. Organizations that have a multi-cloud strategy can benefit from Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) as it becomes difficult to ensure that various cloud services and applications are configured securely. CSPM provides business leaders with security and compliance management across multiple Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers.

Microsoft is leading the way in this area with Azure Defender's cross-cloud solution built on top of Azure Arc. Utilizing both Defender and Arc allows you to measure CIS, ISO27001, and other compliance frameworks in any cloud, public or private.

Cloud Access Security Brokers 

CASBs are in a good spot, climbing the Slope of Enlightenment. They protect data even beyond an organization's own infrastructure in another system, allowing for consistent security across different cloud services. While Gartner shows slowing (but still advancing) growth in many other security categories, CASBs’ expected 2020 growth is 33%---the highest of any information security market. It's now become mainstream and is making good ground as a productive technology in cloud security.

Cloud Security Important in 2020

As you can see, there are several other technologies that are also moving into their peak (or plateau) productivity. Overall, cloud security is one of the most important technological realms today. Whether you work in cloud security yourself or you've been on the fence about cloud migration, progress in this field is comforting. For more insight on developing a strong cloud computing strategy, see Gartner's recommendations and predictions on the future of cloud security.

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