Dubai: Hackers are now targeting business data as companies migrate to cloud storage, industry experts have warned.

Research firm Gartner said global spending on cloud security is expected to increase to $305 million (Dh1.12 billion) this year, up from $185 million in 2017, before surging to $459 million in 2019.

Nidal Taha, president of Z Services, a UAE-based cloud-based cybersecurity solutions provider, said cloud security has been one of the fastest growing areas of information security investments over the past five years as it is a “nationwide issue”

Z Services offers its services through telecom operators. In the UAE, it has a tie-up with etisalat.

“The hardware and software used to — [in] the traditional way — protect the ecosystem but now cybersecurity is becoming a subscription-based model [based on] pay-per-use,” Taha said.

“Security as a service, which requires no software, no hardware and no configuration, is gaining traction globally and is on [track] to surpass on-premise deployments soon,” he said.

However, Nigel Hawthorn, director of cloud security for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at cybersecurity firm McAfee, said that the amount of cloud services used by an individual or by a company is increasing.

Hawthorn said the amount of cloud services used by an individual or by a company is increasing. Quoting a survey, he revealed that an individual uses an average 30-40 cloud services, depending on the region, while the average number of cloud services in use is 1,935.

“Ninety-seven per cent of organisations use some sort of cloud services, whether the company has sanctioned it or not. At the same time, there is also a rise of unmanaged devices to the cloud. Eighty-seven per cent of companies rely on their employees using personal devices to access business applications,” Hawthorn said.

To strengthen its offerings in the region, Z Services has tied up with McAfee to offer Mvision Cloud for data protection. Mvision Cloud comes with threat-prevention capabilities.

Despite having high-tech solutions to protect the ecosystem, Taha said that there were no cybersecurity solutions providers that could guarantee 100 per cent security, adding that what they can offer is up to 99 per cent security.

He was quick to point out that the remaining 1 per cent most solutions providers could not cover was enough for hackers to do damage.

“That 1 per cent is one-in-a-billion chance to be hit but if you don’t have that 99 per cent, you are prone to be hit in a few hours. We try to make it as difficult as possible for the hackers,” he said.

Quoting reports, he said that cybercrime is the biggest crime globally, resulting in losses of $1 trillion for companies globally, with the figure growing by 20 per cent every year.