The short answer is ‘yes’. As businesses produce and use more data, security will be an ever-expanding concern. Security at heart is all about control. The biggest difference between cloud and on-premise computing is that on-premise computing allows you to maintain control over the hardware and everything that runs on it.
As the cost of commodity computer hardware has decreased, the prevalence of cloud computing solutions has increased. In addition, increasing pressure on budgets has resulted in many IT professionals looking to cut costs by moving away from on-premises systems. However, outsourcing data to cloud hosting can compromise security within your organization. Even cloud providers with great security track records come with risks, risks that accompany any shared computing platform. It is impossible to know exactly what other people are doing on a service and protect yourself accordingly.
The advantage of having the hardware in-house (or fully under your control) is that you can more easily control the security of your systems. Data security is achieved through maintaining control over each access point. In a cloud system, your vendor could be able to access your data (which is why encryption is so important).
In addition to the security concerns, the shared computing systems common in many cloud services mean that your business’s operation could be hindered by the way others use the shared computing resources. Another user could eat up computing resources with a buggy code push that could slow down or crash the system.
Also, the cloud also makes maintaining backups more difficult. Many cloud providers will provide automated backups and clones of data within their system. However, this often just means copying data from one cloud machine to another. Getting backups onto hardware you control is difficult and can take up a lot of bandwidth. This also makes it impractical to test your recovery process to make sure backed-up data is usable.
There are good uses for the cloud, especially in consumer technology. The shared resource of Netflix, for example, means that more people can watch the same movie, getting it only when they need it. Rather than have everyone buy the same movie, everyone can have access to an even better version, a better copy.
Distributed cloud computing has been mainstream and competing with the mainframe for many years now, but the mainframe remains the most secure computing platform. Also, the costs of maintaining a mainframe system are often lower than outsourcing to cloud vendors or managing individual server hardware and administration.
Many large enterprises still rely on mainframe computers because they get the job done efficiently and reliably. The mainframes of today are not the dinosaur mainframes of the 1960s. There is a clear generational difference in the types of systems large companies use today. Modern interfaces are being used for many user-facing applications that have a back-end running on the mainframe. The users of website and applications produce torrents of data, and mainframe systems are uniquely able to process and deal with millions of transactions in a neat and secure fashion.
Security systems change as a business changes. Security policies must be periodically revisited to make sure they are still relevant and effective. There are many kinds of personal data that are required by law to be encrypted and secured. For example, data used by banks, financial institutions, healthcare organizations, government entities, and others have an obvious need for security and have rules and regulations regarding data protection that must be followed. But there are many cases where going above and beyond is also worthwhile.
If data is not locked down and encrypted at its source or when it is in transit, it is vulnerable. A strong password can keep a hacker out of an individual account, but keeping determined hacker out of a system needs something stronger. And if the hardware is not under your control, it is difficult to guarantee its security. As such, the mainframe has proven itself a champion of data security for businesses large and small alike. When you utilize your mainframe, you can be confident that your data is safe and secure.