Currently, there are two kinds of servers: physical, on-site servers and cloud servers. Some are hesitant to move to a cloud server due largely to its intangibility. However, cloud servers are where some of the largest companies in the world house their data, and they’re definitely worth taking a look. For most, security is the primary issue when it comes to decision making. Before we discuss whether or not cloud servers are secure, it’s important to make sure we know what they are so that you can make the right decision about where you want to keep your data.
Security in the cloud is very similar to security within an on-premises data centers, the difference is largely in the cost. When it comes to maintaining the facility and hardware, with cloud servers, that’s someone else’s job. When working in the cloud, there is no physical equipment to host and maintain. This is because you use software tools to both access your data and monitor the information which flows to, and from, your resources in the cloud.
The purpose of your server, whether hosting on-site or in the cloud, remains the same: ensuring that critical data is not accidentally lost, and to provide a backup. The purpose of your server security is to keep that data from peril. Server threats come in the form of prying eyes during a data leakage incident, theft, or even accidental deletion. Security tools, whether in cloud environments or traditional ones, are often similar. Data storage generally includes certain legal compliance requirements, as when you are hosting sensitive private information such as healthcare data or credit card information. When you have a physical host, you are responsible for that security. Cloud hosting, however, puts the responsibility on the cloud service’s provider. They need to ensure that their cloud infrastructure security solutions are up to date and can prevent data breaches. Many providers of cloud server and cloud security products employ independent third-party auditors to ensure that their processes not only exist but are effective in their efforts to protect your data.
A few examples are:
With cloud security, you would be utilizing a third-party data center. This third-party would be responsible for ensuring that their security processes are up-to-date and safe from hacking. With traditional IT-based security, you have an in-house data center. In addition to housing the data center, you would be responsible to keep up to date with virus and malware protection to ensure the safety of the data it houses.
Cloud-based hosting is quickly scalable, and so is the security. With a click of the mouse, you can add more space or stronger protections which will be instantly applied to the product. Traditional IT hosting options have high upfront setup costs, as there is a physical product to be procured, housed, and installed. It also requires a dedicated IT team for maintenance and updates, so it is slow to scale and far less efficient.
Cloud hosting, versus a traditional IT solution, offers extremely efficient resource utilization. The cloud hosting options have a much shorter time-to-market than IT solutions. Finally, the usage cost for cloud solutions is far lower than those of traditional IT solutions, which means you can allocate your funds to more pressing business issues.
Because it is both intangible and newer technology, there are extremely strict regulatory standards on cloud security; leading to the development of better security solutions. In fact, many of the top cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, offer options to add access to even greater security protocols depending on what your needs may be. Obviously, confidentiality is a mission of every cloud-based service, but something that may not be so obvious, until it happens, is that a bigger cloud-based hosting company will be far better able to withstand a DDoS attack than an in-hosting server host.
Entities as diverse as Netflix, the US Government’s NASA JPL division, and Slack all utilize cloud services and rely on cloud security infrastructure to keep their businesses up and running. Working with cloud service providers means they can let the provider handle their security concerns and protect their sensitive data. This allows for time to focus more on what they need to do to run their companies while having the peace of mind that their companies will remain in full security compliance. They also know that hosting in the cloud allows them to scale up as quickly as their businesses grow, which is vital for both huge start-up brands and small businesses alike.