Security measures in cloud adoption will be the fastest growing service in which the government invests in 2017, according to Tom Ruff, vice president of Public Sector America’s and Latin American Markets for Akamai Technologies.

Ruff said the greatest hesitations of agencies considering cloud adoption revolve around security and reliability. He said that attacks, such as the recent breach on Dyn, a domain name registration company, have caused Federal IT leaders to question the soundness of the public cloud. These misgivings will result in a heightened security posture rather than a complete refusal for cloud adoption, Ruff said.

“Security as a cloud service is going to catch on fire in 2017,” Ruff said. “With the number of attacks, no agency can keep pace. The attacks are well-funded and intelligent.”

New security solutions will accompany the demand for public cloud protection, Ruff said. He also said that systems allowing end-users to access certain pieces of information on the public cloud are on the horizon. He said the Domain Name System (DNS), which he described as the “white pages of the Internet,” was a new attack vector and that more solutions to combat attacks on this directory will probably appear next year. Akamai developed such a solution this year.

Despite recent attacks on the public cloud, Ruff projected that agencies will begin to shift from private to public cloud services more rapidly in the coming year. He said that agencies are correct in determining that some applications should stay behind a firewall, but that more and more entities are getting comfortable with the idea of moving to the public cloud. According to Ruff, 60 percent of Federal cloud users invest in the private cloud, but that percentage will go down in 2017.

“People have to change their culture and really depend on education,” Ruff said. “If there’s a better end-user experience, the cloud experience is going to be better.”

Ruff said the current administration did a good job of familiarizing Federal agencies with the idea of cloud adoption. He mentioned that the cyber budget saw an increase under President Barack Obama, which led people to shed the “server-hugger” mentality. He said the new administration would do well to continue funding the transition away from legacy systems, which will facilitate migration to the cloud.

“Those funds are going to bode well for cloud adoption,” Ruff said. “We’re fairly bullish in light of what the old administration has done. Ripping out and starting anew wouldn’t make any sense. I do not believe, with what’s going on with nation-states, that cyber is going away.”


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Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Big Data, FITARA, Homeland Security, Education, Workforce Issues, and Civilian Agencies.