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Cloud Security Race Intensifies, AMZN Takes on VMW, AKAM, WIT

Chandrima Sanyal

Despite the benefits of cloud computing, security threats that accompany it deter many enterprises and individuals from shifting to cloud. These threats are as dynamic as the cloud environment, particularly for enterprises that hoard sensitive data.

Being highly connected, cloud environments make it easier for traffic to bypass traditional perimeter security, which eventually results in business losses. For instance, per a Cisco report, 51% of all cyber-attacks in the Asia-Pacific region resulted in a loss of more than $1 million in 2018.

In order to make cloud computing more secure, tech giants like Amazon AMZN, Alphabet GOOGL division Google, VMware VMW, Wipro WIT and Akamai AKAM have come up with new solutions. Prospects remain strong due to increasing demand for security solutions that are capable of handling complex threats.

A slew of advanced data breaches is expected to increase the demand for cloud security offerings in the coming years. The propagation of IoT devices has made cloud security increasingly important as well.

Per Orbis Research, the global cloud security software market is expected to reach $35.6 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 4.98% between 2019 and 2024.

Year-To-Date Price Performance



Amazon Stirring Up Competition

Amazon’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) recently launched three new cloud security services to help organizations operate more securely on the cloud: Amazon Detective, AWS IAM Access Analyzer and AWS Nitro Enclaves.

Each of the offerings are related to different steps of securing the cloud. The Amazon Detective analyzes numerous data points to more efficient security investigations; IAM Access Analyzer keeps a track of resource policies to help security teams prevent unsolicited access; and Nitro Enclaves enables customers to build isolated compute environments within Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud to secure sensitive workloads.

Interestingly, Amazon’s announcement comes few months after a former AWS engineer was identified as the culprit behind the massive data breach of Capital One Bank earlier this year, which happened due to a cloud misconfiguration.

This case, which affected more than 100 million Americans and 6 million Canadians, escalated last month after two Democratic Party senators sought an investigation into whether AWS broke the Anti-Trust law by failing to secure Capital One infrastructure.

VMware, Akamai & Google Strengthen Footprint

While Amazon was facing the Capital One issue, in September this year, Akamai acquired KryptCo, a security startup that builds mobile-based authentication technology to strengthen presence in the zero-trust ecosystem. Forbes expects Akamai’s cloud security business to register a CAGR of 18% during 2019-2021, hitting $1.1 billion.

The following month, VMware acquired endpoint-security specialist, Carbon Black, to bolster its enterprise cloud security offerings. Upon closing of the deal, management commented, “The Carbon Black platform, along with VMware NSX, VMware Workspace ONE, VMware Secure State and our future innovations, will deliver a highly differentiated intrinsic security platform across network, endpoint, workload, identity, cloud and analytics".

Moreover, in November, cloud-native network detection and response company, ExtraHop, partnered with Google Cloud Platform through the latter’s new packet mirroring feature. Security teams will be able to protect data and workloads in Google Cloud and expand control across the entire hybrid attack surface.

Moreover, a couple of days ago, Wipro launched advanced cloud Security Operations Centre services using Microsoft Azure Sentinel, featuring built-in Al and Orchestration capabilities for quick threat detection and response across hybrid cloud environments.

All these moves, including Amazon’s latest launch of cloud security solutions, are expected to raise competition to the next level.

Zacks Rank

Wipro and Akamai carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), whereas Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

VMware carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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