To Cloud or Not to Cloud

On-Premises vs Cloud Security Deployment

Cover image - Is on-premises better than clous security - Blog by Sven Henselmann.webp

The decision between on-premises or cloud-based deployment of security solutions comes with several considerations. Cloud-based cybersecurity undoubtedly offers several advantages, including a consumption-based cost model, scalable resources, and maintenance and updates by the provider.

On the other hand, on-premises solutions require higher upfront investment but offer maximum customizability and control. The choice between the two depends on individual preferences, security requirements, budget constraints and compliance considerations.

The pros and cons

Deploying a security solution in the cloud undoubtedly offers several advantages: its commonly known consumption-based model is designed to provide cost efficiency, as companies only pay for the resources they use. Cloud security providers, therefore, offer scalable resources on demand, without high upfront investments. In addition, cloud providers manage infrastructure maintenance, updates and security patches, thereby relieving the burden on ongoing company operations. Cloud-based solutions also enable remote monitoring and management from anywhere with internet access.

On-site solutions require higher upfront investments and long-term maintenance obligations. They have limited storage capacity compared to the cloud and are more susceptible to physical disasters such as earthquakes. And, compared to cloud solutions, which often offer standardized security processes and tools, customization options can be limited.

On-premises installation, therefore, requires hardware, space, integration measures, and administrators responsible for management and ongoing operation.

Nevertheless, local implementations offer unique advantages, such as maximum customizability and control over infrastructure and data. They can also provide lower latency for real-time threat detection and response to meet the specific needs of the organization. On-premises offers unparalleled system control and physical security, increasing resistance to security breaches. Some institutions, particularly those with strict data sovereignty requirements, may prefer on-premises solutions to ensure data remains within their jurisdiction, but more to this later...

Risks in the cloud

The risks of cloud and what to know about on-prem cybersecurity measures.webp

If a device accessing cloud services is infected by a Trojan, for example, the cloud services accessed by that device are also vulnerable. This means that if the data is not sufficiently encrypted on the way to the cloud, it can theoretically be viewed by unauthorized persons who can hack into your data transmission.

Data protection concerns arise when sensitive data is entrusted to third-party providers. Reliance on internet connections can lead to latency or availability issues.

Regulatory compliance is also a challenge, especially for regulated industries, as compliance with data protection regulations can be a challenge.

Companies from regulated industries, e.g. finance, medicine or critical infrastructures, tend to opt for an "on-premises" installation of a cyber security solution for several reasons: these companies are often subject to strict data protection laws and compliance requirements. An on-premises solution allows them to maintain full control over their data and ensure that it meets legal requirements.

Although cloud solutions usually offer high security standards, some companies may still have concerns about the security of their data in the cloud. With an on-premises solution, they have full control over their security measures. And, as mentioned above, on-premises solutions can often offer higher performance and reliability as they are not dependent on an internet connection. This can be particularly important for financial institutions and critical businesses where downtime can have a significant impact. However, the most important thing is undoubtedly better customizability: on-premises solutions can often be more tailored to a company's specific requirements and processes than cloud solutions.

How nice when you can have both

ExeonTrace is a flexible on-prem or cloud cybersecurity solution - NDR blog.webp

Ultimately, the decision to deploy security solutions on-premises or in the cloud depends on a number of factors, such as the organization's preferences, security requirements, budget constraints and regulatory compliance considerations. Conducting a comprehensive risk assessment is critical to making an informed decision, especially in the financial industry where data security and regulatory compliance are paramount.

ExeonTrace, the Swiss Network Detection & Response (NDR) solution, is a flexible platform that can be installed in the cloud or "on-premises". The platform uses light-weight traffic metadata for its analysis and does not require expensive traffic mirroring or packet decryption to analyze traffic.

ExeonTrace leverages your existing IT, cloud and OT infrastructure to collect the traffic metadata for analysis. Since no hardware appliances are involved, deployment and maintenance are simple. You can customize ExeonTrace to meet your specific requirements.

Regardless of your current cybersecurity measures in place, take a look at our On-Prem vs. Cloud Checklist (free access, no need to submit any contact details) to assess your options and ensure you obtain the best out of your tools and processes.

Sven Henselmann


Sven Henselmann

Senior Security Consultant



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