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Securing Data in the Cloud vs. On-Premise: Which Is Better?

More businesses are trusting their data to the cloud than ever before. The age of on-premise data and information is dwindling. However, many users trust on-premise more than any cloud provider, despite the mass switch-over. Conflicting arguments lead one to ask: Which is superior?

The differences between the two are vast enough, but some have a personal preference. For instance, the most notable differences are that cloud users can access their information on any Internet-enabled device, while on-premise access requires using select servers and devices. Here is where security comes into play - different access means different security protocols.

Cloud storage responds better to updates, while on-premise works on organization. While the cloud has greater stability and fewer customization options, there's also a smaller investment and less time to implement. On-premise has a larger investment, but more customization options.

There are much more noteworthy differences between the two, and may mean a change of mind when deciding which to use. Of course, the decision comes down to what the business needs and what you're comfortable with. Figuring out what's best for you, though, takes an informed decision.

For On-Premises

Whether security is better or worse in one method is a debate raging over the decades that comes down to personal preference. When examining on-premise, let's look at security.

The most favorable aspect for on-premise is being detached from the Internet, believe it or not. Restricting data to a few devices and encrypting it can keep out most would-be hackers. In other words, the prime security protocol for on-premise is staying out of dodgy hands. The process sounds almost too simple, but the results speak for themselves.

According to a survey by Tech Republic, 56 percent of the 608 IT security personnel respondents reported on-premise has superior security than the cloud. Among businesses with more than 5,000 employees, 62 percent said on-premise had superior systems. In all, 22 percent said there was no difference in security between on-premise and the cloud, while 16 percent said the cloud had stronger protection.

On-premise is nothing inherently special, which is why there's staying power. No access to the Internet doesn't mean the business is going to suffer. Sometimes the best methods are the simplest ones to come by.

For Cloud

The cloud works by keeping all the data online and available to any device with access to the information. The security lies in encrypting data that travels between networks. Though it may sound a little dubious, programmers are well aware of the access hackers could potentially have to a cloud server, which leads them to implement strong security protocols.

Being hosted and shared by a separate provider is one of the best factors for the cloud. Security is up to more prominent organizations better equipped to handle any unforeseen problem without the user ever needing to know. More people and corporations using the same cloud server means more security alternatives to the standard ones.

One of the ways users keep track of security in the cloud is by auditing the server. Assuming not everyone with access has good intentions for the data - whether they got access legally or not - the owners of the cloud can take an audit of recent activity and track down nefarious deeds right to the source of the action.

The organization and planning of the cloud security are what keeps the servers strong. Someone with the proper knowledge of organizing data could keep the cloud safe from thieves, safer even than on-premise could.

Against On-Premises

Without being online, users cannot share data across devices. While it's a plus when the Internet goes out at the office, it's a negative when people need to access information away from the jobsite. The aspect of on-premise data keeping goes against most modern technological advances of our time, and is getting more and more outdated.

With technology advancing, business can develop at an exponential rate. People are conducting more trade online than ever before, which means international business has increased, too. Keeping information in only one spot without being able to move anything is detrimental to the growth of the company when a seller and buyer need to meet in person.

As far as security goes, as said before, hackers can't get what they don't even know is there. Unfortunately, hackers are growing wise to this defense method and do still attack on-premise data storage, just like the cloud.

While hackers attack cloud storage at a rate of 53 percent, on-premise holds a rate for 44 percent. Despite the numbers, on-premise users see attacks far more than cloud servers. On-premise users experience an average of 61.4 attacks, while cloud users only see an average of 27.8. Because of the extra security measures hackers know about, on-premise attacks are also far more brutal and devastating to businesses.

Against Cloud

The rate of attacks is higher than many users realize because most security protocols can stop hackers in their tracks. While security in the cloud can be excellent, hackers attack servers at a much higher rate than on-premise because of the ease of access to the files.

The strength of cloud security relies on the programmer knowing what they're doing. If the person implementing security protocols fails to do so absolutely correctly, or doesn't implement anything at all, an intruder can easily snatch all the information on a cloud server. That opens the door for theft of customer records or ransoms to get integral software back in corporate hands.

Security on a cloud server is not one individual's responsibility, but that of the group using the server. Usually, this means a well-known and influential company, but that may not always be the case. Cheap cloud servers will mean getting exactly what you pay for. To get better security, the price tag is going to end up being much higher than a basic on-premise system.

Even if the business invested in the most expensive cloud server out there, there's still a chance a hacker can get in and steal all the critical information stored inside. Not only will you be out of data, but you'll also be out a whole lot of money in the once-in-a-million event.

For Better or Worse

Nothing is ever completely safe - which is a hard truth to swallow. Cloud servers and on-premise systems have different ways to secure themselves and various approaches in the event of an attack. The decision comes down to preference and what's best for the business. A small organization may benefit more from on-premise, while a growing company may want to consider the cloud. The cloud may be the future of data storing, anyway, but on-premise is here to stay.


About the Author

Kayla Matthews is a tech-loving blogger who writes and edits Follow her on Twitter @productibytes to read all of her latest posts!
Published Monday, August 27, 2018 1:37 PM by David Marshall
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