Cloud vs. On-site: A Consideration of Security

Cloud vs. Local hosting

The recent CloudFlare breach [‘cloudbleed’] has raised major concerns over digital security. Still, the question remains – which is safer; online (cloud) or on-site (local)? And what steps can be taken to ensure the highest possible level of protection?
On-site security issues include physical theft of servers or paperwork, loss of data due to fire or natural disasters and [accidental] confidentiality issues if documents are not adequately classified or protected.
Cloud security concerns are almost entirely related to malicious cyber-attacks including data access – especially with regard to confidentiality. The benefits of cloud over on-site include remote access, specific control over privacy and permissions, improved communication and, overall, convenience.

Enoron’s Top Tips for Cloud Safety

  • Use reliable Service Providers (e.g. Google Cloud Platform).
  • Check if provider(s) have strong privacy policies and established reputation.
  • If your service providers are based in United States, and your​ Firm operates in Europe, check that your service providers have (opt in) Privacy Shield.
  • Review Terms & Conditions to ensure adequate level of data protection is provided.

If the above criteria are covered, then it’s most likely cloud solutions will be more secure than on-site solutions.
Maintaining on-site security costs money. Hardware and software solutions require regular updating to ensure up-to-date infrastructure. This, in turn, requires IT support or a strong level of expertise for adequate on-site data management and storage.
Generally only large corporations have enough funds to adequately and affordably maintain on-site infrastructure.
Moreover, even if all the above is covered, physical access to servers and adequate permissions need to be managed to avoid security breaches.
Considering cloud providers like Google use military grade security, such as custom screws and proprietary components to make it extra difficult to physically access hardware, the case is clear:
Unless your firm has the resources and expertise of companies like Google; you should use cloud providers instead of on-site servers.

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