According the International Data Corp., it is expected to grow five times faster over the next four years than the rest of the IT market overall – swelling from $47 billion to $107 billion. This growth further illustrates a need for more sophisticated security. In Canada, the market's expansion has opened up a deep dialogue about the security and protection of cloud data, as well as fuelled a rapid sophistication of data centre security and improvements on the products we use daily.

We sat down with the Microsoft Canada's National Technology Office to gather some straightforward insight on cloud security and data privacy.

Mediaplanet: How has the ‘cloud’ changed the face of data privacy and security in Canada?

John Weigelt: The cloud has significantly increased the focus on security and privacy that organizations have.  As organizations have looked into the cloud to improve their businesses, they have taken a close look at their internal environments. They are looking at how they do business today and how they can transform that business going forward. Security and privacy are key considerations. So, overall, the cloud has had a positive impact on having businesses and people become more aware of their security and privacy obligations.

MP: What are the biggest advancements you have seen over the last 5 years in terms of data privacy and storage?

JW: The biggest advancement is simplifying the use of the tools for organizations and individuals. Tools that aren’t used can’t work. And so we are increasingly seeing that security and privacy capabilities are being built into everyday tools. For example, full disk encryption to protect personal information. Making data privacy and storage tools genuinely easy to use and installed by default has truly changed the landscape of privacy and security over the last 5 years.

MP: When looking to the next five years, what types of changes and improvements do you think organizations will be implementing to ensure their information is kept private?

JW: My answer comes in two parts. One is from the end-user perspective taking a much greater data emphasis. For instance, protecting the data that end-users get from the internet and from the information that flows amongst the multiple end points in our mobile device world.

Second, from the class of computing infrastructure providers, we are going to see the addition of stronger security techniques. Techniques like increasing the encryption for protecting data between data centers so that customers can be absolutely confident that the security continues to be enhanced to address newer threats.

With the rapid advent of the market's growth, Cloud service providers are taking many steps to ensure proper safety of information. They are embracing technological advancements to rapidly make Canada a safer place for your information.