A hard drive is seen in the light of a projection of binary data on Aug. 9, 2017, in London. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Allied Market Research on Tuesday released a new report on the cloud data loss prevention (DLP) market that found the cloud DLP industry will grow from $2.4 billion in 2021 to a massive $27.5 billion by 2031 — a compound annual growth rate of 28%.

The researchers said during the pandemic, the risk of data loss witnessed a sharp incline and created a new level of complexity around DLP, regulatory compliance, and governance.

This resulted in sudden DLP market growth because of a 123% increase in data downloaded to USB devices by employees and 74% of the data was classified by organization data governance policies. The pandemic directly affected the daily operations of several industries by adopting remote work, which forced companies to move their business operations to the cloud.

The researchers said this, in turn, fueled the market growth.

Covid has changed the way customers adopt and use technology, said Domnick Eger, Field CTO at Anjuna Security. Eger said the use of DLP solutions has historical been managed from a central location and provided IT professionals a way to keep data in companies safe. With the massive adoption of remote work, Eger said it’s getting harder and harder for companies to mitigate risk.

“DLP solutions as a whole are based on protecting companies' assets, but not all assets being created are being tracked by these technologies,” Eger said. “Another issue is the companies are expanding their attack surface by moving on-prem applications and data to the cloud. Our collective goal as an industry is to help educate and increase the use of privacy and enhanced technology solutions to drive the needed change in these markets and make sure the growth of DLP is done in a responsible manner rather than making the whole process even more complicated than it already is and letting IT professionals have a manageable way of tracking changes and movement in their vast global networks.”

Dave Burton, CMO at Dig Security, added that the issue of sensitive data loss has become pervasive as the percentage of data in the cloud continues to increase without proper controls in place. Burton said research shows that this year will be the first time that more enterprise data will be in the cloud than on-premises.

“Protection of data in the cloud needs a different approach than on-premises,” Burton said. “Until better tools for data protection, like data security posture management and DLP are deployed, this will continue to be a challenge. When data gets lost or compromised it affects business continuity. It also diverts resources to data recovery that would normally be focused on running the business. Reputational damage also becomes a concern. Customers often perceive companies that have had a data breach as risky and could terminate services with companies that do not properly handle their data. Beyond this, the financial implications are often extreme. The cost of data recovery can be high in addition to fines from regulators for not following data protection guidelines.”