Cloud vs. on-premise security: Who wins?

Software as a service (SaaS) and cloud-based tools have become critical for companies to stay competitive and agile. Modern Saas tools, like Salesforce, have become crucial for companies to collaborate efficiently. Public cloud providers have made it easy for businesses to use these tools. However, this shift to the cloud has led to some serious cybersecurity challenges.

The data security parameters have shifted from traditional, on-premise security to cloud-first. With an on-premise stack, companies hosted their applications in their own data centers and had control over them.

For instance, when a company stores data in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center, they have to configure and manage its organizational security policies. Hence, security breaches become the company’s responsibility, despite not having complete control over how the data is stored.

This article explores cloud vs. on-premise security, their differences, pros and cons, and which method is more secure in the modern age.

Cloud vs. on-premise security: The differences

Companies usually choose between cloud or on-premise solutions when they do business. They choose one over another for their respective advantages and their own perspective on data security. Here are some key differences between cloud vs. on-premise security.

On-premise security:

On-premise security requires an on-site data server to run the access control software. Companies that opt for on-premise systems must invest in hardware such as control boards, door readers, etc. They also need a license to run the software on their local servers. Moreover, the company must manage its servers. Here are some key differentiating factors:

1. On-premise security needs constant monitoring and maintenance.

2. Companies get to retain all the data and have complete control of it.

3. On-premise security includes both physical and network security measures. It is better for companies that need to meet compliance and industry standards.

4. It allows companies to configure their systems however they want. However, they need high-level expertise for this.

5. Brands must invest in expensive data security tools to protect each enterprise layer.

6. Security measures will be limited to their current location.

Cloud-based security:

Cloud-based security systems are hosted on a system of remote servers. Businesses do not need a dedicated server specialist to maintain them, eliminating the need for a local server at each location.

The cloud-managed service provider is usually available as a SaaS model. It has monthly or annual subscriptions that cover troubleshooting, monitoring and supervision of network servers, cloud storage for all data, information security, encryption updates, backup recovery, performance checks, etc. Some key differentiators are:

1. The responsibility for data security falls on the shoulders of both the enterprise and the vendor.

2. APIs make cloud security highly automated — this translates to less burden on the internal IT staff.

3. It is accessible from anywhere. Everything on the cloud is located in centralized platform security.

4. Public cloud-based services involve trusting a third party with valuable data.

5. Ensure that the cloud provider you opt for complies with the necessary regulations.

6. Many cloud-based data security services are pre-configured, so ensure you are comfortable with all they offer.