The past few years have seen their fair share of data breaches, information loss and privacy protection failures, especially in the American public cloud computing market. While certain goings-on among regulators in North America and Europe hint at the end, or at least slowing, of surveillance programs from spy agencies, businesses still have a variety of security and privacy concerns going into 2014.

One of the most transformative events in the past year has been the Edward Snowden and National Security Agency controversy, which was characterized by the publicizing of government snooping processes on companies and consumers in the United States. This event has reverberated throughout several IT-related industries, and has also stimulated growth in the enterprise-class cloud computing market.

American made
Wired Magazine recently reported that many foreign businesses remain highly reluctant to use cloud services provided by American-based vendors because of the NSA scandal. Initial reports indicated that the surveillance program would likely have an extraordinarily damaging impact on the cloud industry in the United States, costing the sector hundreds of billions of dollars each year in lost revenues.

However, this scandal catalyzed major change in the purchasing behaviors of both domestic and foreign companies, as private cloud models help to avoid some of the security risks that are inherent with the technology on the whole. According to the news provider, the NSA did not necessarily put a stop to growth in the American cloud market, but instead served as a wakeup call to many vendors and adopters.

Additionally, the source stated that the concerns that have surfaced in the past 12 months related to privacy protection are not necessarily new, but can instead be traced back to the passing of the Patriot Act more than 12 years ago. In short, companies are just beginning to become more aware of threats to security that are more intense in public cloud computing environments.

Privacy and security
A recent study from CompTIA revealed that the Security-as-a-Service market continues to grow amid the increased attention to government snooping and hacking activities among cybercriminals, Talkin' Cloud reported. According to the news provider, CompTIA's study revealed that more companies are leveraging cloud-based solutions for security than ever before, and the raw volume of these firms expanded by 36 percent between last year and 2013.

Enterprise cloud computing products can help to centralize information governance, which can be especially advantageous for firms that have multiple offices and a remote workforce.