Where can businesses better secure customer data, on-site servers or cloud servers?

Where can businesses better secure customer data, on-site servers or cloud servers?

Businesses in Charlotte and across the United States generate, manage, and store various types of customer data. These data include identity information like names, contact numbers, addresses, and birthdates, as well as customer behavior data like the items customers viewed, added to their cart, and bought.

Companies like yours must ensure that they can effectively safeguard customer data in compliance with various US data privacy laws. To that end, one major security decision that you’ll have to make is whether to store customer data on on-site servers or cloud servers.

On-site servers

As their name suggests, on-site servers — also called on-premises (on-prem) servers — are physically located in your workplace. The biggest advantage of storing data on site is that you have more control over your files. You know exactly where your data is stored, and you can implement your own safeguards to prevent physical data theft.

However, on-site servers will cost you significantly. You will need to purchase the servers and the operating systems and other software to run them, as well as server cages and the necessary infrastructure. Additionally, you’ll have to shoulder costs related to installation, training, maintenance, upgrades, and the services of qualified IT personnel to manage your on-prem servers. Since on-site servers require physical space, using them may translate to additional rent expenses, too. You also need to spend on systems and measures that can secure your files from disasters like floods, fires, and earthquakes.

Such a huge investment may be worthwhile if your employees work on site. This is because having on-prem servers allows your employees to access customer data without connecting to the internet, which greatly minimizes the risk of cyberthreats and data breaches.

Using on-site servers may not be ideal for remote and hybrid workplaces since employees will still need to connect to the internet to access on-site data remotely. To secure their remote access to your on-prem servers, you need to implement additional solutions, such as virtual private networks.

Moreover, when employees are granted remote access to an on-site server using remote desktop software, they have access to the entire machine and all of its files. They can also access anything that the machine can access, which can lead to all sorts of security issues.

Cloud servers

Cloud servers are managed by a cloud service provider (CSP) and are located in off-site locations. You can access your customer data stored on cloud servers via the internet.

Cloud servers strike a balance between security and accessibility, which is crucial, especially for remote work arrangements. CSPs have the necessary expertise, manpower, and other resources to effectively secure cloud-based data. A reputable CSP will implement multiple security measures to secure your data against cyberthreats like malware and advanced persistent threats. Such measures include:

  • Storing servers in data centers that have cutting-edge perimeter security
  • Implementing security solutions like anti-malware software, encryption, and multifactor authentication
  • Applying the latest security updates and system upgrades as soon as these are available

Moreover, when you store files in the cloud, your data is stored in multiple, geo-independent cloud servers around the world. This means copies of your files are stored in several cloud servers and regularly updated. So if one cloud server goes down, you can still access all customer information that's stored in another cloud server, enabling business continuity if disaster strikes.

Leveraging cloud servers, however, means you're entrusting your customer data to a third party. So it's important to carefully vet CSPs before entrusting them with your data. Make sure to check their security measures, as well as the terms and conditions of their services.

You can entrust your customer data to SpectrumWise. We provide the best, most secure cloud storage services in Charlotte for a low, fixed monthly fee. Schedule a consultation with us today.