Tradeoffs That Should Never Impact Security: Cloud vs. On-Premises

by John Gallagher | Mar 7, 2017 3:44:17 PM

Every organization has differences in how they accomplish their job, which can be thought of as tradeoffs. Restaurant A might choose to open early for breakfast, trading off the additional employee expenses for ability to gain higher revenues and profits. Restaurant B, considering whether to serve breakfast may decide against it because while it might be profitable it goes against their brand image as the “dinner” place. No one would accuse either restaurant of a bad decision, just a difference in how they decide to run their business and the tradeoffs they make.

Security professionals have similar tradeoffs, and the one I see coming up more frequently is the decision whether to use cloud-based services. Many physical security teams naturally benefit from the cloud – cost, IT requirements, danger of data loss, scalability, flexibility, and many other reasons have brought physical security functions safely and securely into the cloud. Arguably the move to cloud-based surveillance and access control has improved security and evidence gathering more broadly and rapidly than anything else the last 10 years.

But moving physical security to the cloud is not the right recipe for everyone – there are a number of considerations that lead to keeping all security functions “on-premises”. For many organizations internal or external regulations (or both) prevent the use of cloud services. Other organizations already have extensive IT operations and support, so it’s natural for them to question paying to run off of someone else’s equipment. What is most important is that organizations today should not link the "how" of implementation to the "what" of methods to improve security and reduce risk.  The tradeoff in this case (whether to deploy using an internal or external cloud) is a matter of preference, not right or wrong.  Not using automated methods to verify physical security performance is a different issue entirely because the impact is higher risk and lower security.

Viakoo today is announcing our OnPremises Edition, so regardless of how your organization approaches the cloud you can still benefit from Viakoo’s automated verification of physical security system performance. Ultimately what matters most is ensuring that your security is always on and that evidence is captured properly. That’s exactly Viakoo’s mission – if you haven’t signed up for a demo account or seen the built-in demo on our iOS or Android apps you should visit to register. And if you’re going to be at ISC West in early April, stop by our booth for a demo (Booth #32099).

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