A Comprehensive Review of Cloud Security VS On-Premise Security 

Multiple cyber security threats are looming over every business these days, posing big financial, business continuity and confidentiality risks. In addition, hackers steal data, as well as encrypt and destroy crucial data with malicious intent.  

That’s why employing fool-proof cyber security measures is necessary for every organisation.  

However, if you’ve also been considering a move to the cloud, you might be wondering how that affects your cyber security defence.  

Today we’ll look at cloud security vs on-premise security and help you understand the difference between the two so you can have an idea of which infrastructure addresses your cyber security needs better. 

What is the difference between on-premise and the cloud?  

The basic difference between the two options is that the company maintains the on-premise servers while the cloud servers are maintained by data centres.  

On-premise servers are the traditional method where the company purchases and maintains its own on premises servers, monitored by a team of IT professionals who maintain them in a secure, climate-controlled location.  

On the other hand, cloud servers are an alternative method where the company hands over its data storage and protection responsibility to data centres. In this case, the company doesn’t accrue additional expenses for purchasing and maintaining servers and keeping trained IT professionals.  

Cloud computing has emerged as the preferred choice in recent years because of its flexibility and better return on investment. However, in general, they offer less control and customisation options compared to on-premise.  

If you want to know more, read our blog about on-premise vs cloud vs hybrid. 

Benefits of cyber security on the cloud  

  • Data breaches: Cloud security can help save your business from data breaches more effectively than on-premise (in a sense). Your data isn’t stored physically at your office, so it’s out of reach of malicious employees and hackers who are targeting your organisation specifically. In addition, massive data centres have advanced security features to keep their client’s data secured.
  • Downtime and restoration: Businesses need to keep downtime at its minimum to stay ahead of their competitors. Cloud is an ideal option here because it backs up your data in multiple places. Cloud data is easily restored in case of a network outage. 
  • Solves scalability issues: Cloud services will be more beneficial for a rapidly growing company. That’s because data centres will adjust their resources to meet your demands. But re-adjusting resources is comparatively difficult for businesses because of the time and high cost involved.  

Benefits of cyber security on-premise  

  • Highly customisable: In-house team can customise the servers according to the needs way faster and better than data centres. Although it is an expensive option, it gives the company the freedom to develop tailor-made solutions for their specific issues. However, for this you need to ensure teams are located physically on site to ensure fixes can be made – and with modern workplace favouring hybrid or remote working, that may be harder to manage.
  • In-house IT team: On-premise is ideal if you already have an in-house IT team of well-trained professionals. These employees are aware of the company’s needs and goals and would work accordingly. However, you will need to continue to invest in this team and ensure they have the tools and knowledge to do their job.
  • Regulatory compliance: Some companies have strict regulatory compliances related to the storage and sharing of data which they are required to comply with. On-premise can help with those specific needs.  

What are the biggest cyber security threats facing your business right now?  

No business can survive without employing good cyber security measures. That’s because a business faces numerous cyber threats daily – even without realising it.  

Some of the most common cyber attacks are: 

Phishing Attacks 

Phishing attacks have been troubling organisations for a long time now. However, they have become quite sophisticated in recent years and they aren’t easy to combat.  

A phishing attack occurs when a hacker disguises as a trusted contact and entices the user to open a malicious link or attachment. The link may lead to the deployment of ransomware or give the hacker access to sensitive information.  

Malware Attacks  

Malware comprises numerous cyber threats like trojans or viruses. It can come from downloading content from malicious websites, spam emails or by connecting to an already infected device.  

Hackers use malware to gain access to networks and steal or destroy data. Businesses must monitor the websites visited by employees using the office device. In addition, they must block all suspicious websites. 

Ransomware Attacks 

Ransomware attacks are the most lucrative form of attacks and as such, are pretty common these days.  

When hackers encrypt a company’s data and ask for money or crypto in exchange for the decryption key, it is called a ransomware attack. Many businesses may feel that they have no choice but to pay, however, by that time the hackers will have already gotten hold of your data.   

Weak Passwords 

Employees may set weak passwords that may include their name, birthday, or other easily guessed information like Pa$$word. Unfortunately, many people still don’t use a combination of letters, numbers, variation in letter case, and other symbols to create strong passwords.  

Moreover, using the same password for multiple accounts is also risky and, unfortunately, common practice.  

Businesses must educate their employees on best password practice to mitigate any cyber security risk.   

Your own employees 

If your employees lack the basic cyber security knowledge, they can accidentally leak company data and expose your business to risks such as the above. 

Some former employees or business associates may collect intel against your organisation, to cause a potential data breach. Without appropriate user access policies, employees can access your company’s important data unnoticed. 

You can remedy this by obtaining a government recognised cyber security certification like Cyber Essentials. Cyber Essentials helps to ensure you have the correct cyber security measures in place to mitigate these kinds of risks. 

How can moving to the cloud protect your sensitive data from these cyber threats? 

Cloud security controls have seen many changes over the years and have now become a robust, trusted technology.  

When it comes to quality of security, it completely depends on your choice of the data centre. Choosing a great cloud provider will not only help you in protecting your data but will also give you more flexibility in scaling your business.  

In addition, storing your data in the cloud helps to save your organisation from data breaches. Modern data centres use advanced security features which also help in restoring backup in case of any network outage.    

How can on-premise protect your sensitive data from these cyber threats? 

Although cloud computing is often the cheaper option, the customisation options are limited. Essentially, organisations cannot develop tailor-made solutions for their specific needs.  

In the case of on-premise servers, the company can simply ask its IT team to develop security solutions for their specific issues.  

However, this requires the IT team to have adequate knowledge and the right tools to be able to do so – which may increase the costs of on-premise security vs cloud security.  

The best of both worlds: A hybrid infrastructure solution 

When it comes to understanding the different options between both and the benefits both might have for your organisation, you might be asking, “Why not just use both?” 

And you’d be correct – utilising both options is what we call adopting a hybrid infrastructure. In fact, many businesses who are considering moving to the cloud, will actually adopt a hybrid infrastructure first. 

We would encourage you, however, to look at the technology that’s going to need to be put in place to link the two structures together.  

So, is the cloud more secure than on-premises? 

There’s no straightforward answer to this question! 

The choice of the server depends on numerous factors.  

A business must be aware of its goals, budget, needs, employees’ technical knowledge, data loss risk, etc. before choosing the one that best fits you.  

Hopefully, this gives you an in-depth analysis of both options and will help you in bridging the gap between your security needs and the right option for you. 

Book your free 30-minute cyber security consultation  

Finding the right managed services provider can go a long way in helping to secure your organisation. At TSG, we offer a free 30-minute cyber security consultation to understand what your organisation’s current cyber security landscape looks like and provide some initial recommendations.

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