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In the future, companies will increasingly depend on how quickly and how well they are able to make use of cloud and remote work solutions. Forrester analysts forecast a further increase in investment in these new technologies in 2021.

The extraordinary challenges companies have faced in 2020, the year of Corona, have made the benefits of cloud computing immediately apparent. In the initial lockdown phase, many companies were forced to move quickly to remote work or switch from traditional to digital services. Cloud solutions have proven enormously helpful in these situations due to their high accessibility, scalability, and security. Forrester Research anticipates that nearly one-third (30%) of companies will continue to invest heavily in the cloud, security and risk management, networks, and mobility in 2021.

Remote work remains part of the “new normal”

At least one-third of European office workers will continue to work full-time from home in 2021 – up from 4 percent in 2019. Just under half (49 percent) of the managers surveyed expect a higher proportion of full-time employees to be working remotely on a permanent basis – even across national borders in some cases.
Remote work also impacts corporate IT security because the security level of employees connected remotely is rarely equivalent to that of the usual corporate environment. For instance, inadvertent and malicious employee misconduct is expected to play a role in one-third of all data breaches in 2021, up from 25 percent today. Companies can mitigate this risk by offering awareness training to raise employees’ awareness of the threats and teach them how important it is to comply with all security policies.

Corona accelerates the move to the cloud

In light of the migration to the cloud that many companies are hastily pursuing in the wake of the Corona pandemic, Forrester has revised its forecast for the global public cloud infrastructure market upward: the market researchers are now predicting growth of 35% to $120 billion for 2021.

The European public cloud market continues to be dominated by US hyperscalers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. They are already the main providers of public cloud services in 46% of European companies surveyed – with an upward trend.

End of Privacy Shield seen as the sword of Damocles for compliance

However, working with a US partner always entails a certain degree of risk of violating European data protection laws or industry-specific compliance requirements. Following the repeal of the EU-US Privacy Shield by the European Court of Justice, European companies must therefore check carefully whether the recipient guarantees a level of data protection in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before transferring personal data to the US. However, this is often difficult because it is not possible to track exactly when, where, and what (meta) data is transferred to the US and who may have access to it there.

Moreover, since March 2018, the Cloud Act has even allowed US government agencies access to data that American IT service providers and internet companies store in data centers outside the country. This problem can be avoided by choosing a certified cloud provider from Europe.

GAIA-X not yet a factor in 2021

The European GAIA-X cloud project promises to remedy the situation but has not yet had any significant market impact due to the lack of any specific services to date. This is not expected to change in 2021. However, it is anticipated that all major cloud providers will join the initiative once GAIA-X has developed appropriate guidelines for exchanging and using data.

Highly certified protection for companies

As a German technology manufacturer, Myra offers a GDPR-compliant, certified Security-as-a-Service platform for protecting digital business processes. In addition to web applications and websites, smart Myra technology also fully automatically protects the DNS servers and IT infrastructure required for communication. Myra DDoS protection is also certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security [Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI)] for Critical Infrastructures (KRITIS) according to ISO 27001 on the basis of basic IT protection.

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