Why the cloud is (or can be) more secure than on premises

October 31st, 2019

When it comes to choosing and deploying new IT systems, security has never been more important. In fact, 82 percent of CEOs consider cybersecurity one of their top three risks. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that one in ten Australian businesses fell victim to a cybersecurity incident last financial year.

The risks posed by external threats, not to mention internal vulnerabilities, are significant – and businesses and government are taking notice.

The problem is that assessing the security profile of different solution options – like the security of cloud versus on-premises solutions – isn’t always an easy task. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the volume of information about the relative security profile of different products.

Cutting through the marketing spin and deciphering tech speak can be enough to make anyone’s head spin. Some vendors claim on premises is the only way to keep data safe, while others (like us!) say the cloud can be just as secure – if not more so – than on premises. 

Knowing the facts about IT security is one of the most powerful tools any executive can have in their back-pocket. So, in this blog post, we’ll bust some of the common security myths to demonstrate how, when implemented in the right way, cloud is more secure than on-premises.

Myth #1 – Cloud isn’t as secure as on-premises

There are plenty of myths and misconceptions out there about the security of cloud solutions. One that strongly persists is that cloud solutions aren’t as secure as on-premises solutions, primarily because data isn’t held in a secure physical location. A string of highly publicised cloud storage hacks in recent years (featuring tech giants like Dropbox and Apple iCloud) hasn’t helped cloud’s reputation for security.

But cloud has come a long way over the last decade or so and has evolved into a seriously sophisticated technology. It is trusted by some of the biggest names in retail, tech, banking, healthcare and even government – organisations that simply can’t afford to gamble with their IT security.

Successful cloud providers, like Microsoft, have first-class security platforms, investing in heavily cutting-edge technologies, operations centres, threat detection and security tools.

Microsoft alone invests US$1 billion in cybersecurity each year to protect its customers data and information assets. The fact is, if cloud providers didn’t take security seriously, they wouldn’t be in business.

Cloud providers are on the fore-front when it comes to cybersecurity, continuously finding ways to strengthen and enhance data protections. This can offer a major security advantage over on-premise alternatives.

Myth #2 – Cloud exposes organisations to hacking and data loss

While cloud technologies aren’t new, there is an enduring belief that they are more susceptible to malicious activity, hacking and data leakage. This often stems from concern about data being transmitted online and being held outside the physical control of the organisation.

Cloud solutions can actually offer better protection than on-premises systems to ward off cybersecurity risks. For example, patches can be regularly deployed to protect organisations from evolving threats and real-time security monitoring can be undertaken to detect potential malicious activity before any damage is done.

At the end of the day, both cloud and on-premises solutions can be vulnerable to cybersecurity incidents. The design, configuration and management of your chosen solution will typically have a much stronger bearing on your exposure to cybersecurity risks.

Investing in an end-to-end security management solution like Microsoft Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) is a sure-fire way to maintain and strengthen your organisation’s security posture when moving to a cloud-based solution. EMS is an intelligent, end-to-end mobility and security platform that enhances the security features of Windows 10 and Office 365, and extends them to your entire IT environment. 

Where to from here?

Cloud and on-premises solutions both have their strengths and limitations. However, when it comes to which offers a better security profile, cloud is increasingly presenting as a front-runner.

Microsoft EMS is a great example of how cloud providers are giving their customers more control over how their data is stored, protected and managed. With a range of sophisticated yet flexible data protection capabilities, EMS gives you peace of mind that your organisation can operate safely and securely whilst enjoying the benefits of a cloud service.

Secure IT solutions are not just about the underlying technology – an organisation’s governance frameworks, platform management, business processes, staff training and policies also have a large bearing on security. If your organisation is considering a new cloud solution, engaging an experienced technology partner will set you up for success from the outset.

Cloud Collective is a strategic alliance of Microsoft Gold Partners that offer the full spectrum of Microsoft solutions. We have an outstanding track record of supporting our clients to design, implement and manage secure solutions. To find out more, contact us today.