Understanding Cloud vs On Premise

Cloud technologies are slowly being deployed as the standard infrastructure for most technology companies, however there are still some industries, finance, health and legal to name a few, that are hesitant to move to cloud platforms.  For the most part, there can be some misunderstanding by the businesses as to what the cloud is and what it can offer against a traditional on premise deployment.

Physical Security

Traditional theory states that a company deploys servers on a data centre on premise it is more secure than putting it in the cloud. However, the often-overlooked key question is what will happen if a central data centre is hacked.  Most cyber-attacks are not globally funded groups but ex-employees or business associates with direct access, in 2016 the top three threats were social engineering, insider threats, and advanced persistent threats. 

The benefits of using AWS, IBM or Google is that physical security is close to military grade, services are not associated with hardware so even an employee of these companies doesn’t know what is running where. In addition to this, being able to move services to different global locations with a few simple clicks makes physical breaches almost impossible. For these reasons and many others, even security conscious firms are moving to the cloud.

Software Security

The other side of the coin is software security; the comparison here is more simple, everything that can be installed or monitored on premise, can be replicated in a cloud environment.  Connections across the internet can be encrypted, access control lists can be configured to allow only certain users, and multi-factor authentication can be maintained as a standard and more.  For security and compliance, this can offer as many benefits as using the cloud alone, especially considering that most compliance frameworks are now more compatible with cloud deployments than ever.

Migration

When considering moving to the cloud companies will often face the daunting task of migrating existing data: mapping databases and replicating servers and connection types. 

When it comes to switching to the cloud, the companies running these services appreciate that migration needs to be easy and straightforward. Great tools exist to replicate existing architecture, knowledge of cloud technologies are commonplace and migration can be scaled to alleviate fear of down time, enabling the move to be quick and pain free.