Cloud or on-premises storage? Why not use both?


The usual argument made for storing your sensitive data offshore or online is that online providers, like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google and Dropbox, operate at scale and have dedicated security specialists ensuring all their data is held safely.

But as we know, there’s no such thing as 100% security and cloud services can still be breached. So, the question is, when is a cloud solution your best option?

Storing data offsite is a leap of faith. Now your data are being protected — or not — by someone else. The argument is that outsourced storage providers are doing the job at scale. They have specialists, the latest hardware and will be all over patching, upgrades and monitoring. Breaches of cloud-based services have occurred, however.

How much to store?

When considering offsite storage, it’s important to carefully consider just what will be stored where. Not all data is of equal value, or of equal interest to outside parties, and there’s no point paying for expensive security or storage measures to protect data that’s of little interest or that doesn’t need it.

When it comes to data that does have value, however, it’s still not automatically the best option to store it online. Many businesses will have sensitive information that’s best kept on-premises, while some types of information must be stored on-shore to comply with privacy and security legislation.

Speed of recovery

It’s also worth considering the question of backup and recovery times. If your business suffers an outage or attack, it’s important to get your systems back up and running as soon as possible, using a fresh backup that minimises any data losses.

If your last backup is days old, or if you need to download terabytes of information from a cloud server, you may regret not segregating your data and storing as much as possible in local backups.

Hedge your bets

Even if you opt for offsite storage, it might be prudent to hedge your bets. There’s no reason you can’t get the best of both worlds: reliable local backups with encrypted cloud storage providing redundancy. It’s a powerful combination and it just might save your business.