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On-premise or Cloud-based? A Security Solution Comparison

November 12, 2017

Whether to store and manage data on a public cloud or to keep them on premises is a question that plenty of enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are asking themselves. Trying to cut through the trends and get to the reality of what’s best is not always easy in a rapidly growing and highly publicized space like cloud computing. On one hand, the cloud trend has shifted attitudes about what it means to have full ownership of data, with enterprises benefiting from the relative ease of third-party infrastructure management, tool implementation, and so on. On the other hand, data breaches of public clouds have led to a bit of a backlash, making it clearer to enterprises that when they are implementing a cloud solution, they are trusting third parties to keep critical data safe—and that’s a lot of trust to place in a business relationship.

So which is the better option for an enterprise or SMB? The following comparison will help make the call, and help value-added resellers make decisions about how best to keep clients secure in each scenario.

On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based: The Cost

In terms of pure dollar signs, the implementation of a secure on-premise cloud infrastructure might simply be out of the range of an average SMB or even a larger enterprise. On top of the expenses associated with hardware, the sort of management by IT professionals that it takes to effectively maintain such infrastructure is a full-time job. This is one reason that cloud services have grown in popularity—it outsources infrastructure management and its costs—start-up and ongoing—to a third party. In a case in which cost is an issue and data security is less of a critical concern, businesses may want to consider outside cloud solutions.

On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based: The Security Question

Security is a growing concern with both enterprises and SMBs—and with good reason. Data breaches have skyrocketed in recent years, and when hearing about cloud breaches, a business may get a case of the nerves when it comes to having data out there on the cloud. The extent to which that is a realistic concern depends on a lot of different aspects. Good digital threat intelligence that assesses risks to a particular industry and the types of risks at hand can help separate realistic fears from overstated ones and help businesses make the call on whether to go with cloud solutions or on-premise solutions. Also, not all cloud service providers are alike. A trusted cloud provider with a proven security track record is a must.

Hybrid Cloud: The Best of Both Worlds?

It’s also worth noting to customers that things are changing, and the split between on-premise and cloud-based solutions isn’t as cut and dry as it once was. The industry has realized that both models have their ups and downs and has been rolling out hybridized models of data management that just make sense for business use. For instance, a private on-premise cloud can be implemented for frequently accessed and highly sensitive information, and other, less important functions that can be more easily managed on a public cloud can reside there.

In discussing on-premise vs. cloud-based security solutions, as with any client relationship, well-informed discussions about a company’s technological capabilities and business needs will inform finding the right solution. Understanding needs is key to implementing a secure solution, no matter where it physically resides.

What ups and downs have you seen with cloud-based and on-premise models?