Cloud computing is increasingly becoming more popular. By comparison, traditional on-premises computing is already widespread with features that span from cost to management ease to, one of the most important aspects, security.
Despite traditional computing’s prevalence, the cloud seems to be exceeding traditional information technology (IT) from all angles. Even when traditional computing has better features, the continuous evolution of the cloud seems to always lead to the best solutions.
Such changes have happened before and are always met with criticism. For example, touch technology was met with skepticism; however, as the technology became more prevalent, it became an expected feature of most mobile devices.
It is likely that a similar situation will occur related to cloud security technology. But only time will tell if cloud computing will become an ubiquitous aspect of cybersecurity infrastructure.
The Transition to Cloud Computing in Security
As Big Data became a focus for technology processes and analysis, traditional IT systems had a hard time keeping up. As a result, many organizations started incorporating data cloud storage into their infrastructure, as traditional data centers were not seen as a scalable or cost-effective way to store and analyze data.
The COVID-19 pandemic only served to accelerate the shift toward cloud computing in security, as the workforce switched to remote working, making security concerns a priority. Even as in-office restrictions are lifted, many companies are continuing to offer remote and hybrid work options, leaving IT teams to determine whether to maintain traditional on-premises security infrastructure or to switch to cloud security options.
What is Traditional IT Security?
Traditional IT security typically involves the management and maintenance of physical, on-premises computing components involved with network security and data storage by an on-site IT team. Its processes help to secure and monitor any unauthorized access, malicious software, or any other threats from abusing your data, resources, and applications through the local network and on-site servers.
Other benefits of traditional IT security includes:
- Getting full control over your data environment, security operations, and stance
- The ability to plan completely for data security and freely choose your options
- Choosing what security resources you want and how to configure them
- Complete freedom to decide how to respond to threats and detect them
- You can set your own disaster recovery plan that suits your capabilities
- Monitoring your resources, data, and applications
However, traditional IT security does have a few disadvantages:
- High cost and efforts for installation and maintenance
- Need to purchase more resources and infrastructure to store more data
- Need for in-house team to manage the infrastructure daily
- Inability to scale down to save cost in some recession seasons
What is Cloud Security?
Cloud security offers a digital approach to cybersecurity with its own policies, standards, protocols, best practices, and compliance procedures. Similar to traditional IT security methods, it helps with securing the privacy of data, data centers, online-based resources, cloud applications, and other devices and platforms, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Compared to traditional IT security, cloud security is typically the responsibility of the provider, so large on-site IT teams are not always necessary when implementing cloud security. However, businesses should still ensure that there are security policies and practices in place, as cloud providers do not have full control over what happens on the client side.
The scope of cloud security can include some of the following:
- Physical resources and networks
- Data storage and hard drives
- Data servers, including hardware and software
- Virtualization frameworks, such as virtual machines and containers
- Operating systems
- Middleware and APIs
- Runtime environments
- End-user hardware, such as mobile and IoT devices
- Data accessing
What Are The Key Cloud Security Key Differences?
Despite the benefits of cloud computing compared to traditional IT, the security of the cloud is still controversial. In its earlier years, cloud computing faced several cybersecurity threats due to its dynamic nature, which led to the belief that this would be a major vulnerability for cloud security. However, cloud computing can still offer great security for businesses and enterprises.
Some key differences that make cloud security a viable cybersecurity option include:
- Cloud adopts a data-centric approach to prevent unauthorized access, such as data encryption, authorization process, and multi-factor authentication, whereas traditional security manages access via the traditional perimeter security model.
- Cloud data storage offers the ability to automate backups on geographically-spread sites to avoid being compromised. Traditional IT methods make redundancy backups in multiple sites, but these methods tend to be more costly.
- Cloud computing has the ability to integrate with third parties as well as incorporate automated AI-based network scanning technologies. This can reduce costs and security threats that can be caused due to human errors.
- Cloud operates with a zero trust approach. With traditional IT infrastructures, if attackers have access to the network, they can threaten other resources. But with a zero trust approach, attackers need to verify their identity in every step, making it more difficult to access important data.
Final Thoughts on Traditional Security and Cloud Security
In the end, the decision to embrace cloud security will depend on your business and its security needs. There are many cybersecurity options available, and there is no one solution that will fit every business. Even in the cloud, there are many options, some of which involve integration with your own traditional solutions. Therefore, it is important to consider what cybersecurity features your business needs, how scalable the solution will be to your business, and what your budget limitations are before making a decision about a cybersecurity solution, whether it be cloud-based or on-premises.