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Interest in Security for Cloud Computing Continues to Rise
2012-06-26 21:43 4606
- Dramatic rise in number of patent applications concerning security for cloud computing -

Cloud computing is a new information-technology infrastructure which links numerous computers to one server where companies and organizations can store and protect their data. It is as if all users are working on a single united computer. By renting these cloud server infrastructures, the need to purchase and manage separate storage devices and technologies (such as CPUs, storage devices, memories, developmental environments, and so forth) is eliminated, thus increasing the economic benefits for companies. Cloud computing also suits the worldwide movement for more sustainable, eco-friendly IT solutions as it helps to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Despite their many advantages, infrastructure systems like cloud computing servers are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Because data is not saved on the users’ individual computers but stored and dispersed throughout the network of the rental service provider, hacking attempts may result in serious repercussions. Therefore, the accelerated growth of cloud computing services worldwide has increased the demand for enhanced security.

According to a recent report from IDC in Korea, the greatest issue facing the IT solution market for companies in 2012 is the need to enhance the security of information. 46.7% of survey participants chose the issue of information security as the most important, for the second year in a row. Another survey from IDC shows 85.7% of all participants picked security as the number one concern in hesitating to adopt cloud computing. A survey from IBM also showed a similar pattern, with 77% of all participants choosing cloud computing as the technology with the greatest security risk.

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (Commissioner Ho-won Kim), the number of patent applications regarding security for cloud computing has been steadily increasing over the last five years.

- The number of such patent applications has risen dramatically from a dozen or so in 2007 to around 60 in 2008 and 109 in 2011. (See Figure 1.)
- As for the distribution of applicant types, 7% of applications came from individuals; 15% from large, multinational companies; 16% from small or midsized enterprises; and 20% from research organizations or universities. 42% of all applications also came from foreign companies. (See Figure 2.)

Patent applications seeking to enhance security for cloud computing covered diverse areas including managing data centers, responding to perceived invasions, ensuring application security, managing codification and keys, managing IDs and access, virtualization, and so forth.

According to the international market research group, TechNavio, the security software market for cloud computing grows at an average annual rate of 41.4% worldwide, and is expected to increase from USD 241 million in 2010 to USD 963.4 million by 2014.

As cloud computing continues to grow throughout the worldwide IT industry, it is becoming increasingly necessary to develop international standards to prevent exclusive reliance on particular companies or venders. Multinational conglomerates such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google have already begun to develop and distribute their own company-specific programs.

Cloud computing is expected to evolve in the near future as well, advancing beyond data storage to diverse consumer solutions such as desktop, mobile, IPTV, smart TV, and healthcare cloud services . Accordingly, the number of patent applications concerning component technologies for these new services as well as related security solutions will also grow steadily.

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