In an earlier blog on why the approach to admin access needed to change, I touched on the point...
Why Cloud-based security is superior to on-prem alternatives
When you’re tasked with scaling your business’s IT security, what are the first few things that come to mind? More firewalls? Ordering more servers? Buying more licences? Upskilling your team? This list goes on and on and before you know it, you’re reviewing the significant impact additional hardware, software and personnel are having on your expenses. And then there is also the likelihood that this additional security capability hardly makes an impact. Thankfully, there is a simpler way to manage and scale your security posture. Widespread Cloud adoption improved many areas of IT and security was no different. Here’s why Cloud-based security is superior to any traditional on-premise alternative.
Streamline your security costs
Deploying security resources for Cloud environments is significantly easier and often cheaper than traditional, on-premise alternatives. Traditional security relies on expensive hardware that requires physical space, electricity and on-site experts who will install and manage these devices. Compare that with the cost models of creating and hosting resources in AWS or Azure, which are often just a few cents per hour, and it quickly becomes clear to see how Cloud-based security streamlines costs. You also won’t have to worry about the additional costs of upgrading your hardware or software in the future as this is often covered in your subscription.
Improve your security flexibility & scalability
If your IT is managing on-premise infrastructure, then they will likely have to meticulously plan around business growth and work tightly with other teams to factor in upcoming projects and initiatives. Failing to do so can quickly result in your business outpacing your security causing vulnerabilities to emerge across your infrastructure. Cloud-based security resources, however, enable significant flexibility in both time and location. Unlike traditional on-premise security, scaling Cloud security can be done remotely and completed with incredible speed, as long as the underlying and prerequisite technology has already been installed. This flexibility enables technology and security teams to shift their once slow and reactive approach to an agile and proactive one that enables them to stay ahead of business change, innovation, and emerging threats.
Improve your security innovation
Building a new application or launching a new product can introduce additional security challenges for your IT team to tackle. However, due to the slow and expensive nature of traditional security infrastructure, your IT team’s inability to innovate and experiment can restrict the innovation of other teams and departments. Cloud-based security drastically reduces the cost and improves the time it takes to provision and remove resources, enabling your IT to experiment and test new controls and processes with little financial or operational impact. Cloud-based security also provides opportunities to explore new security capabilities or third-party tools. A few examples include:
- Cloud Conformity, is a third-party tool that provides real-time monitoring and auto-remediation for security compliance and governance across Cloud infrastructure.
- Continuous Access Evaluation, a feature specific to Azure AD that significantly enhances user and application authentication processes and controls.
- Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs), are an innovative identification method that enables businesses to seamlessly verify a subject (such as a person or organisation). This capability is especially useful during engagements where your business needs to collect, verify and secure personal information such as part of an onboarding or online shopping experience.
In addition to the third-party tools, Cloud security enables businesses to experiment with more cutting-edge technologies and methodologies for cyber protection. For example, SASE and Zero-Trust adoption are rapidly growing throughout New Zealand and globally but neither security approach is compatible with traditional on-premise infrastructure unless it is part of a hybrid cloud-networking solution like SD-WAN. Ultimately, Cloud security enables businesses to take advantage of new and emerging technologies and partners by making them significantly easier to access.
Improve your data security availability
The security and availability of data have become increasingly important over the years. Traditional on-premise infrastructure would often see data stored across a handful of servers, of which at least one would be designated as a backup in the event of an outage or server failure. But this setup is not robust enough to protect businesses and their data against large-scale events or more sophisticated cyber threats that could lead to unauthorised access or total loss of your data. Cloud providers answer this problem by including several redundancy measures that on-premise infrastructure is unable to achieve, such as storing your data across multiple data centres. Additionally, these providers will also dynamically connect you and your customers to the closest respective resource to ensure high availability and dependability when accessing and using your data.
To summarise, Cloud security enables businesses to streamline costs and improve flexibility, scalability, innovation and availability but that’s not all. For some, data sovereignty has become a priority and their data has to be stored in a specific country. Cloud providers have already begun to rise to this challenge. In New Zealand, we are already seeing AWS and Microsoft standing up data centres that will not only drastically improve service performance but will also enable Kiwi businesses to meet these compliance requirements. But in the meantime, Cloud providers can also provide data havens and store data locally to meet data sovereignty needs.
Finally, Cloud-based security leverages standardised and uniform skills and expertise. On-premise infrastructure on the other hand is usually built with old or very specific technology. What this means is that by migrating your security infrastructure to the Cloud, your business will have a much larger talent pool from day one, making it easier and often cheaper, to hire specialist Cloud and security professionals to manage your technology.
I hope this article has helped build your understanding of the benefits of Cloud-based security and how it differs from more traditional security infrastructure. If you have any other questions though, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.