Is Private or Public Cloud More Secure?
Public clouds are highly scalable cloud services managed by a third party and work on a pay-per-use model to provide services such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to multiple customers. Private cloud is an isolated and highly performant single-tenant environment either used on-premises or hosted and managed by a cloud service provider. Clients with compliance or regulatory needs that require isolation and customization will find private cloud to be the preferred choice.
Let’s explore the exact differences between private and public cloud security.
Table of Contents:
What is Public Cloud Security?
Often, many third-party cloud service providers (CSPs) such as Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud are used by organizations like Netflix, Pinterest, Kroger, Etsy, and PayPal to manage data files and applications present in their database system.
The majority of CSPs offer security tools like advanced perimeter firewalls and intrusion detection systems to protect your organization’s confidential data. Intrusion detection systems monitor the network for any suspicious activity. Firewalls act as a gatekeeper so that viruses are less likely to enter the system and cause damage to your data.
The following are the main security features that a public cloud must have:
- Threat Intelligence Feeds: Track and keep a record of URLs and IP addresses of scams and bots.
- Automatic Updates of Security Features: Security features are updated as soon as new software is available.
- Multi-Layer Web Application Protection, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence: Secure data and information using tools and controls.
- API-Level Integration: Allows connection between two or more systems so they can exchange data.
Public Cloud Security Benefits and Drawbacks
|Public Cloud Security Benefits||Public Cloud Security Drawbacks|
|Isolated Environment||Inexperienced Staff|
|Additional Staff Not Required||Insufficient Visibility and Accessibility|
|Easy Accessibility to the Latest Technologies||Insecure API integrations|
|Scalability||Data Ownership Policies|
Public Cloud Security Benefits
Here are four benefits of public cloud security:
In the public cloud, the service provider offers an isolated environment to the users. This environment can be highly secured when paired with the right engineers or developers.
Additional Staff Not Required
Cloud service providers invest in skilled IT professionals and cybersecurity experts. This lessens the burden on the shoulders of your organization. But this fact varies from cloud to cloud. With AWS, you must spend thousands of dollars to get full-time support, whereas you get 24/7 support at Liquid Web included with every solution.
Easy Accessibility to the Latest Technologies
Organizations that use large cloud providers get accessibility to the latest technologies. These technologies include automatically updating applications, AI tools, and machine learning.
Public cloud is quite flexible and scalable in nature. It helps the users store large volumes of data and provides easy access to them. Enterprises depend on the cloud during emergency situations such as disaster recovery or times when there are unexpected spikes in traffic.
Public Cloud Security Drawbacks
Large organizations that don't have any financial restrictions prefer not to work or host on the public cloud due to some security considerations:
One of the big challenges in maintaining the security of the public cloud is to find and retain qualified IT professionals that can handle these modern cloud models.
Insufficient Visibility and Accessibility
Many organizations need to access and view all of the data, files, and logs at a granular level. In the public cloud, most of the security information can’t be accessed by anyone other than the CSP.
Insecure API integrations
APIs allow users to work safely while using cloud services. Hence, the safety of cloud services depends on how tightly secure an API is. However, if you are using insecure API integrations, your cloud security could be easily jeopardized by cybercriminals. In early April 2020, cybercriminals mimicked the sign-up pages of websites such as Netflix and Disney+. Large amounts of personal information were stolen. There should be a proper plan for the protection of such interfaces so that cybercriminals cannot misuse them.
Data Ownership Policies
Since the cloud service providers work across different countries, there is a set of regulations that they must follow. GDPR states that the companies must pick a data controller to meet the law’s requirements. When using sensitive data with a third party, there is some extra risk, such as with public cloud security. You must know where your data is being stored and which people are involved in the data processes. Consequently, it is important to make sure that the third party is able to protect data and can follow the rules and regulations.
What is Private Cloud Security?
Private cloud is an isolated, highly performant, and customizable environment, making it highly secure. It is not shared among any other users or accessible to the public Internet. The private cloud is hosted on either owned or virtual data centers. That means you can access the location where your data is stored from anywhere. Only authorized users can enter the applications located in the private cloud.
Private Cloud Security Benefits and Drawbacks
|Private Cloud Security Benefits||Private Cloud Security Drawbacks|
|Complete Accessibility||Financial Burden|
|Better Use of Resources||Skilled Cybersecurity Management|
|Virtual Security||Complicated Setup|
Private Cloud Security Benefits
Organizations that want to have more control over the infrastructure of their cloud security choose private cloud over public cloud. Some of the benefits of private cloud security include:
Private cloud security gives complete system accessibility to your organization. You can access your data and systems without needing a third party in between. Thus, there is a direct relationship between infrastructure and organization without any hidden elements.
Use cases around accessibility can include:
- Remote Administration: Employees can update data into the cloud remotely.
- User Permissions: An authorized person can easily enter your system and find out the root causes of problems during an emergency situation.
Better Use of Resources
With private cloud solutions, you can adapt your use of resources on-demand. You can also install and update software for your applications accordingly, as well as customize the infrastructure and virtualized storage, which helps with the deployment of cloud solutions.
One of the great benefits of private clouds is the improved level of data privacy. In a private cloud, all your data is saved and processed on servers that cannot be accessed by unauthorized persons. The data centers protect the information physically, but the virtual server safeguards your information from all remote unauthorized access. Several types of virtualization can be used. This further improves data privacy.
Private cloud offers the greatest opportunity for compliance with laws and regulations with the least amount of hassle such as PCI compliance or HIPAA compliance. Enterprises must have control over who does and, arguably, more importantly, who does not have access to their data so that information cannot be misused.
If you have highly-sensitive user data, you must ensure the data is protected while following the law.
Private Cloud Security Drawbacks
There are a few drawbacks of private cloud security that can make smaller organizations lose interest:
Organizations working in a private cloud need to have a great financial reserve. Since the cost of operating private cloud security can be high, many business organizations prefer the public cloud instead. The need for advanced security tools and software such as CrowdStrike, Falcon, Zerospam, or Threat Stack for monitoring the network and protecting your data further increases the financial burden.
Skilled Cybersecurity Management
With an on-premises or hosted private cloud, most of the security burden falls on your organization. You must, therefore, hire a skilled cybersecurity management staff that can focus on managing the cloud security options. This management staff is responsible for all of the cybersecurity challenges that the organization may face ahead.
A private cloud is considerably more complicated to set up as it requires a proper team of IT experts. Not only this, but you also have to hire people for maintenance and full-time support, coupled with setting up the infrastructure and making it run.
Why Choose Private Cloud Over Public Cloud Security?
While there are several benefits of public cloud security such as low expense and no need for additional staff, private cloud security grants immense control over the infrastructure of your cloud environment. It also provides better use of resources and offers virtual security.
Check out Private Cloud powered by VMware, which includes full management of infrastructure and virtual machines to keep IT staff costs down and performance and security up. And with support available 24/7, you’ll know where to turn if you get stuck in the middle of a security challenge.
Chika Ibeneme is a Community Support Agent at The Events Calendar. He received his BA in Computer Science in 2017 from Northern Caribbean University and has over 5 years of technical experience assisting customers and clients. You can find him working on various WordPress and Shopify projects.
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