As we near the end of 2015, we can begin to think about what not only the next year, but the future in general will bring us. Compare the Cloud spoke to two security experts about their thoughts on the future in security, and what cloud has for us in the years to come.

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Scott Tyson, Director of Global Sales at email security firm, Mailprotector has provided us with 6 predictions on the state of security in 2016, and Ian Collard, managing director, Identity Methods Ltd has looked even further into the future, sharing his thoughts on the finality of cloud in 15-20 years.

We’ll begin with the shorter spectrum of views, here are Scott Tyson’s thoughts on 2016:

Big breaches – we will continue to see headline-grabbing data breaches hit the media. We have already seen evidence of this in 2015 and the trend will only continue. As well as being headline grabbing, companies will go on to suffer reputational damage and data breaches and security attacks will start to hit the bottom line.

Phishing isn’t going away – while more of us are aware of phishing scams today, they still represent big wins for cybercriminals. We will continue to see phishing emails in our in-box as the technology used by attackers gets even more sophisticated and attackers become more targeted and clever, increasingly using social engineering techniques, in their approach. Email security with built-in protection against phishing will be essential for smaller businesses.

Alliances, mergers and acquisitions – we have seen a lot of acquisitions in the security sector again this year, and this will be in evidence in 2016 as niche specialists, like those in encryption and identity management, will be scooped up by bigger vendors looking to add firepower to their security portfolios.

Data encryption is finally having its day – a niche technology that has been divisive when it comes to discussions about government snooping and surveillance, encryption technology will be even more crucial for securing data in the cloud in 2016.

SaaS security – even greater adoption of cloud from businesses will create demand for cloud-based security. IDC’s Futurescape for Security predicts that enterprises will be utilising security software as a service (SaaS) as a greater share of their security spending. By the end of 2015, 15% of all security will be delivered via SaaS or be hosted, and more than 33% by 2018 .

Partners come into their own with a services-led approach – this has been a year of change, with greater adoption of cloud and mobile technologies. As a result, we have seen resellers moving away from sales focused on margin per sale towards monthly recurring revenues models. Many are starting to realise that significant revenue will be driven by cloud-based offerings as opposed to hardware, and we will continue to see them develop MSP divisions or services-led business models to embrace these changes.

And now, moving on from 2016, here is Ian Collard’s controversial take on the Cloud being defunct by 2035.

“The Cloud will stay with us for another 15-20 years until the cycle changes and swings back again to enterprise.” – Ian Collard 

Post Cloud  or AC ( After Cloud ) will be brought about by ridiculously cheap technology, security scares , easier to use systems i.e. Deskilling , Internet of Things  etc. Whatever the trigger, something will lead to bringing the crown jewels back in house . The Cloud is, after all, just a modern version of the computer bureau 

The work environment will be a very different place in 2030, refined by the skills our children will have developed for when they enter the workplace.

Looking at ‘right now’, the market has already begun to move away from the “bolt on” suites from the likes of SAP and Oracle and is moving in a more self-contained and cloud based direction.

Well OK! What are you waiting for?  Well, you’re actually waiting for your IT department to have their handcuffs taken off by your IT Security department.  You’re going to put all of our HR data in the cloud?  It’s going offshore? It’s subject to the US Patriot Act?  Wow, You’ve really stirred up a hornet’s nest here.  Nobody told you that stuff, so suddenly IT Security are all over it.  Where are the safeguards? IT needs to develop a cloud federation capability to share your user names and passwords, you need to extend the reach of your identity and access management.  What’s going on here?  None of that was on the menu when you made the decision. But that’s how it plays. Technology decisions need to be thoroughly thought through.

But all this time business needs to stay smart and understand from their colleagues in IT about the implications of strategic change. We often hear the mantra of “IT should support the business” and that is perfectly true, however, whether for good or ill, often IT is the business!  The business cannot function without it and the systems we choose reflect directly on our ability to function as management.

Here at CTC we love looking into the future, if you’d like us to publish your predictions for 2016, please get in touch with our Editor Rhian at PR@comparethecloud.net, or tweet her at @Rhian_Wilkinson.