As you try to keep up with your ever-changing business needs, you may wonder if moving to the cloud will help workforce productivity and your bottom line. But before making the leap, you want to know if you can trust the cloud to protect your data.
Is the cloud secure? This is a question we help answer for our customers all the time. The better question is: ‘How secure is the cloud?’ It comes down to understanding how your on-premise security compares with security in the cloud. Which one is more secure? We’ve developed a side-by-side comparison of on-prem and cloud security to help you decide what’s right for you.
On-Prem v. Cloud Comparison
The question of location
On-Prem Security: You may have the feeling that you have complete control over your hardware, software and data by keeping it on-prem, but here’s the rub: Unauthorized access and data breaches happen all the time at on-prem systems guarded by IT departments. Connectivity is king and computer systems, whether on-prem or in the cloud, are accessible via networks. Every system is at risk.
Security in the Cloud: Cloud infrastructure is more secure because it has tougher security controls built into their hardware. Microsoft 365 data centers are designed to protect data from unauthorized access through the use of badges and smart cards, biometric scanners, security officers, video surveillance and two-factor authentication. They’re monitored using motion sensors, video surveillance, and security breach alarms. They’re also protected against fire and natural disasters. Does your on-prem solution have all of those precautions in place?
The question of manpower and maintenance
On-Prem Security: How much does your business spend on security? Does it keep up with emerging security threats such as malware, ransomware and computer viruses by applying the latest software updates and security patches? If you’re like many small and medium-sized businesses, you may not have the manpower to keep up with on-prem security.
Security in the Cloud: The cloud is built on providing the latest and most advanced security. Cloud service providers like Microsoft put their names on the line by investing billions of dollars in security, facing tough industry standards and also adhering to rigorous state, federal and international compliance regulations. If you decide to move to the cloud, you’re letting somebody else shoulder the burden of having to perpetually keep up with the latest security and compliance regulations. Another option is to use a hybrid solution and use cloud-based security system to protect their on-prem infrastructure as a second line of defense against attack.
The question of privacy
On-Prem Security: Some businesses don’t like the idea of storing data on hardware they do not own. They want to retain the right to control their own data — especially when it comes to privacy issues. The healthcare and banking industries are highly-regulated and may feel more comfortable keeping patient and customer data behind their own firewalls.
Different businesses are going to have different risk tolerances when it comes to handling their own data.
Security in the Cloud: Privacy on the cloud is a major concern for businesses and it pays to do your homework. Microsoft is unequivocal when it comes to protecting your privacy. When you entrust your data to Microsoft 365, you remain the sole owner: you retain the rights, title, and interest in the data you store. If a third party, such as a government entity, comes to Microsoft seeking access to your data, Microsoft sends them directly to you. We at CCB Technology compared Microsoft 365 with Google Apps — when it comes to protecting your privacy, Microsoft 365 is the clear winner.
Defense wins Championships
Who are the key players in your security plan and how well do they work together? When you move to the cloud, you immediately hire a team of all-star defenders that stack up well against any attack. Here are five key strategies to look for as you consider the cloud.
- Data Encryption: Uses mathematical algorithms to protect your data while it’s stored on the server and on the move.
- Data Loss Prevention: Prevents sensitive data from leaking either inside or outside your business. DLP can be combined with Rights Management and Microsoft 365 Message Encryption to give greater controls to your admins to protect sensitive data.
- Data Isolation: When data from many customers is stored at a shared physical location, which is the case for Microsoft 365 users, that data is isolated to protect it from inappropriate use or loss while preventing customers from gaining access to one another’s data.
- Access Control: The capability to set limits on data access depending on personnel, device and time of day.
- Application Auditing: A detailed audit trail of who did what — and when — helps IT staff detect unusual activities that might track down a security breach.
There are even more security measures, including logical security, data security, admin and user controls, but more on that later.
Businesses are starting to realize that security goes beyond the IT department. It’s a positive change in that security is now being seen more as a business challenge rather than an IT one. As data security continues to dominate the list of business concerns, you’re going to see more and more companies moving to the cloud.
Your decision comes down to what’s best for you and your business. Whether it’s a looking for the right cloud hosting solution, seeking the flexibility of a hybrid solution or anything else in between, we at CCB Technology want to help.
CCB Technology partners with the most trusted cloud solution partners and can help you navigate the different options. We deliver cloud offerings that not only fit your specific environment, but grow as you grow. As a top Cloud Innovator, we have optimized the cloud consulting and deployment process so you can elevate your business through the cloud with ease. Connect with a Personal Cloud Advisor today!
Additional resource: Concrete Cloud Facts Business Leaders Need to Know