This is according to market analyst firm Gartner, which points out that overall growth in the cloud-based security services market is above that of the total information security market.
Gartner estimates the cloud-based security services market will reach close to $9 billion by 2020.
He notes that mainstream services that address these priorities, including security information and event management and IAM, and emerging services offer the most significant growth potential.
Emerging offerings are among the fastest-growing segments and include threat intelligence enablement, cloud-based malware sandboxes, cloud-based data encryption, endpoint protection management, threat intelligence and Web application firewalls (WAFs), says Contu.
Gartner says small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) are driving growth as they are becoming increasingly aware of security threats. They are also seeing that cloud deployments provide opportunities to reduce costs, especially for powering and cooling hardware-based security equipment and data centre floor space, the market analyst firm explains.
"The cloud medium is a natural fit for the needs of SMEs. Its ease of deployment and management, pay-as-you-consume pricing and simplified features make this delivery model attractive for organisations that lack staffing resources," says Contu.
The enterprise sector is also driving growth as it realises the operational benefits derived from a cloud-based security delivery model, he notes.
"Cloud-based delivery models will remain a popular choice for security practices, with deployment expanding further to controls, such as cloud-based sandboxing and WAFs."
According to a recent global survey conducted by Gartner, public cloud will be the prime delivery model for more than 60% of security applications by the end of 2017.
"The ability to leverage security controls that are delivered, updated and managed through the cloud – and therefore require less time-consuming and costly implementations and maintenance activities – is of significant value to enterprises," says Contu.
He believes cloud-based security services market growth presents opportunities and challenges for providers.
"On the one hand, new greenfield demand arising from emerging requirements from SMEs is driving growth. On the other hand, new competitive dynamics and alternative pricing practices threaten traditional business models."
Contu explains that providers need to adapt to the shift from an on-premises to a cloud-delivery business model. "Overall, one of the main focus areas for providers relates to the shift from owning and selling a product, to selling and supporting on-going service delivery."