Myth-Busting: On-premise storage safer than the cloud?

With traditional IT, enterprise data storage and technology capabilities were all housed on-site. Your company purchased the hardware and software necessary to meet the technology needs of the business and hired IT personnel to take care of any changes/upgrades. These personnel would also troubleshoot anything that went wrong.
Now, there is a (not-so-) new kid in town: The Cloud. The core difference between the traditional approach and cloud hosting is location. Cloud services are hosted off-site and employees at your company access the programs they need via Internet connection.
When it comes to IT security, cloud computing had a rocky start. It created new security holes and blind spots that were not previously a concern with on-premise systems. This was worsened by the fact that many companies assumed the cloud was fool-proof, and they could rely on complete safety with no questions asked.
Those IT management issues were “out of sight and out of mind.” The subsequent breaches that resulted led to many business owners hesitating to put any faith in cloud storage.
Our response to those nay-sayers?
The truth is that as with any type of technology, the level of security is what you make it. The cloud isn’t innately more or less safe than an on-premise server. In our experience, security depends more on the procedures in place than the location of the data itself.
For this reason, it is critical to start the cloud conversation for each client with clarification as to what cloud storage actually is; their enterprise’s role in managing the cloud; and security measures necessary to keep all of their data safe. This conversation includes educating them about the many features that many cloud vendors now provide in the area of security. Here are a few:
Encryption Certificate & Key Management
Encryption is an increasingly important part of any enterprise environment that moves data beyond traditional security borders. Companies like Venafi offer a complete certificate and key management system to enterprises seeking to encrypt all cloud traffic. This includes keeping track of keys and certificate expiration dates in addition to system-level scanning to identify lost or forgotten keys and certificates all the way out and into the cloud.
Self-Healing, Retroactive Malware Protection
Thanks to big data security aggregators in the cloud, it is now much more feasible to stop malware before it infiltrates an enterprise’s data… and repair damage after the fact if it’s not caught. When malware breaches are discovered, this information can also be used to identify and revert any file changes that the malware made.
End-To-End Visibility
Thanks to cloud software-defined networking (SDN) advancements, blind spots that were initially the bane of cloud security’s existence are a significantly less threat. SDN can overlay the complexity of cloud networks to create a virtual network that is easier to manage, allowing your IT admins to see across your network and control data flows and security policies as they see fit. This provides improved security posturing, accelerated incident response, and an enhanced understanding of where enterprise data actually is while it resides in the cloud.
When you consider the amount that Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, VMware, and other cloud service vendors spend on these security features, it far exceeds the amount that most small or medium enterprises could afford themselves. Even with these (and other) features securing the cloud, your IT team will still need to manage access, set up rights and restrictions, and monitor data usage when you move to the cloud.
Providers won’t write your security policy for you, and it is critical to take ownership of your data and its safety. However, your load will be significantly lighter and your headaches will be significantly fewer.
Is your faith restored? Re-considering the cloud? Learn from our experts about whether it is in fact the right solution for your enterprise or contact us for an in-person conversation!