In our previous post, we shared our overview of cloud security, and the benefits and limitations of this emerging technology. You may be wondering whether now is the right time to consider adopting cloud-based security systems. Cloud security isn't necessarily the best choice for every business, and many security managers may be reluctant to adopt less proven security technologies. However, if your business is affected by any of the following scenarios, your security operations may benefit from a cloud-based system, either as a limited extension or a full upgrade.
Your company has many small branches in areas where IT infrastructure is poorly developed
Many growing enterprises encounter the problem of setting up branch offices in areas where IT infrastructure is not of high enough quality to meet your business and security needs. In this scenario, power failures may cause servers to become damaged and lead to loss of data. One of the greatest advantages of cloud-based systems is that servers are located in world class data centers in stable environments that are geographically dispersed, which isolates systems from natural disasters in on particular location.
Your security system that doesn't need to be active 24/7 or doesn't require real time monitoring
There are many companies for which active security systems are only required at certain times of day or week. In this scenario, users may be paying for systems that they barely use. Cloud-based systems solve this problem by offering "pay as you go" payment models. Many cloud-based security services also allow users to put servers online by themselves when they are needed.
You have multiple sub-branches but an internal enterprise network has not been set up
In this situation, end users may be required to by independent servers and network video recorders for multiple small sites. This is an expensive prospect, and means that regional security operations can not be easily managed by a central security. Cloud-based security systems can help end users avoid these challenges by providing public hosts which can be shared by different sub-branches. These hosts can be expanded and remotely managed as organizations grow and establish new sites. To ensure data security, firewalls and VPN services should also be implemented.
Your security system shares a server with other programs or systems
For many organizations, a dedicated server for a security system is not a cost effective option. Yet sharing a server with other systems often increases the probability of server crashes that can be highly disruptive to security and other business operations. Cloud computing allows security users to enjoy the benefits of a dedicated offsite server for security without the prohibitive costs incurred by an onsite server. With cloud-based security, companies pay according to their level of use and enjoy dedicated computing resources for security.
Security maintenance for small and remote sites is difficult
For organizations with a number of small, geographically dispersed sites, security maintenance can be a big challenge. Cloud-based security systems can make this easier for security teams by allowing them to configure systems remotely, perform system diagnostics quickly and to back up data regularly via the cloud platform.
System servers and network video recorders don't have backup machines
Many large enterprises rely on servers and network video recorders to manage security operations. But even for large companies, the cost of purchasing devices to backup data can be daunting. Cloud computing provides security users with a temporary backup host which is especially useful for disaster recovery and ensuring normal operations during site system maintenance.
You have a temporary office that doesn't justify a large investment in security
Global companies increasingly rely on temporary offices to give them greater business flexibility. Yet it is difficult to secure temporary sites using traditional server-based systems without considerable initial costs. Because cloud-based systems are pay as you go they are especially well-suited to temporary office sites. Using cloud-based systems, owners can eliminate the initial costs required for physical servers, operating system software, racks, network switches, UPS, air conditioners and other devices.
Servers are not located near to end users and retrieving data takes a long time
During a security incident, data needs to be instantly retrievable by security teams, but is often inconvenient to access when servers are in a remote location. Cloud computing systems allow users to retrieve data more quickly through "content delivery networks (CDN)". CDNs are largely distributed collections of servers found in multiple data centers across the internet that are designed to make content instantly available to users by providing increased bandwidth access. CDNs can therefore help security end users to view data streams like security video feeds much more easily than through remote servers.
You have a system that requires complex configurations and a high maintenance workload
The time costs, manpower and IT proficiency required to install, configure and maintain complex security systems are a drain on the resources of many organizations. With cloud-based systems, users can avoid this by by creating what is known as a "cloud server image backup". This means that users can copy all the data in their server and create another identical server stored on the cloud. This new copied server can be allocated to a new site quickly and easily, without the need to install, configure and maintain an onsite server for each of your sites. What is more, all system upgrades are the responsibility of the cloud service provider, which makes security software upgrades one less issue for your IT team to worry about.