Organizations wanting to take advantage of the cloud, but not willing to entrust their data to a third-party provider, are creating their own on-premise cloud, or private cloud. They’re building their own infrastructure, purchasing their own software, and hiring an internal team to manage it. While the intent is to keep control over their data, this strategy poses significant security risks and other challenges.
5 Private Cloud Security Risks and Challenges
1. Security Breaches
Many organizations believe their sensitive data is safer in a private cloud. The reality, however, is that virtual private clouds (VPCs) and public clouds are traditionally more secure because most are maintained by security experts who understand cloud security challenges and how to mitigate them. In addition, third-party cloud providers have a highly vested interest in keeping things running smoothly and securely since all customers operate on the same back-end infrastructure. To keep clients satisfied, reputable providers typically spend more time than any individual organization would to obtain this level of reliability and security.
2. Physical Security Concerns
Most organizations don’t have the same physical security features offered by third-party data centers, which can leave their data vulnerable to a variety of threats. A reputable data center will have DVR motion cameras to monitor and record activity throughout the facility, multi-factor authentication security and alarmed man-traps to make unauthorized access extremely difficult, and superior fire suppression systems and weather resistance (learn more about all these features here). Many providers also offer geo-redundant data centers, meaning they have facilities throughout the state or the country; if there’s a threat in one area, they can re-route workloads to another facility so their clients’ business doesn’t miss a beat.
3. Overbuying or Underbuying Capacity
On-premise infrastructure isn’t the “cloud” as we know it; the true definition of a cloud is that it’s elastic and scalable without having to buy additional hardware. When maintaining one’s own infrastructure, an increase in capacity will require more equipment. Often, IT teams won’t know exactly how much capacity they will need, and wind up overbuying to ensure they don’t come up short. In turn, the organization gets stuck paying for costly, unused capacity and the real estate to house it. On the other hand, if they don’t purchase enough capacity, they could go down if website traffic becomes too great (consider a customer-facing business on Black Friday).
4. Compliance Concerns
Parameters for maintaining compliance through on-premise hardware are generally more well-defined than in the cloud; however, it can be time-consuming and expensive to do so, requiring an organization to employ an IT team that’s familiar with regulations. In some instances, they’ll also need to know more than one set of compliance regulations; for example, a government agency that also accepts credit card payment will require both CJIS and PCI DSS compliance, while a healthcare organization that accepts credit card payments will need compliance in HIPAA and PCI DDS. In addition, the team will need to have the ability to continuously monitor systems and logins, develop clear security incident procedures, and employ data encryption to ensure compliance is met.
5. Performance Issues
Whenever new software versions are released, organizations utilizing a private cloud will need to purchase and install it, which is both expensive and time-consuming. Some may put it off and continue to run on outdated software, which could then expose them to vulnerabilities that allow hackers to exploit them, or it could result in workloads that run at a snail’s pace. Downtime also affects performance—for both employees and customers. While a VPC or public cloud provider can typically have an organization up and running mere seconds or minutes following an incident, an inexperienced internal IT team could take hours to get all systems running. Read our story, Top 5 Dangers of IT Downtime for Your Company, for more.
If you’re thinking of building an on-premise infrastructure, or private cloud, don’t do it alone. DSM offers consultancy services to ensure your infrastructure is created safely and securely, and that you have the capacity you need to meet your business objectives. Additionally, we can offer ancillary services, such as Disaster Recovery as a Service, so that you can keep your data in-house, but still have peace of mind should an incident occur.
DSM also offers colocation. With colocation, you house your own hardware within our secure facilities to share the cost of space and redundant infrastructure with others. This also allows you to take advantage of better infrastructure, better physical security features, and expert colocation operators. Read more about colocation benefits here.
Any other questions? Contact the experts at DSM today.