Secure Systems: On-prem vs In the Cloud


As broadcast and media businesses explore new ways of working that lean towards OPEX models, conversations on deploying and maintaining secure systems have naturally also evolved.


This is the first blog in a series, where we’ll look at the key considerations which media companies need to have, to ensure their systems are secure. When considering security, media companies are faced with a decision on whether data should be stored in traditional on-site facilities or in the cloud. In order to weigh-up where to store data, it is important to understand system security in both on-premises facilities, and in cloud-based storage.


In this blog, we’ll explore the common perception that data is more secure when held in traditional on-site facilities.

Cloud storage is riskier… right?


The security of data is paramount, regardless of whether it is stored on-site or in the cloud. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, then you’re probably well aware of the various benefits of cloud-based storage, particularly in a post-pandemic world where remote work has become a necessity. As a quick recap, cloud storage services generally operate with a pay-as-you-go model so they are cost effective, enable flexible, agile working, are interoperable, and are easily scalable. But what about cyber security concerns? Are all the benefits just mentioned, outweighed by the risks of your data being lost, stolen, or held to ransom?


Many companies may choose to stick with on-site storage because of the misplaced belief that data is safer on-premises, than it is in the ‘ether’ where it’s felt to be outside of company control. Cyber security is probably one of the most frequently cited reasons that businesses give for not moving data to the cloud. This feeling that data is not as secure in the cloud as it would be on-site, is really a misconception because data is only ever as secure as systems and processes allow it to be.

Is your data as secure as you think?


Let’s look at this another way. If you had your life savings of £100,000 in cash, would you feel comfortable keeping it in a safe in the bottom of your wardrobe? Even if you had the latest security on your front and back doors, a big guard dog, as well as alarms fitted to your house, chances are, you’d still be concerned about your house being broken into and the money being stolen. It makes much more sense to put the money in the bank, where it is securely stored, protected and monitored, and where systems are continually updated in order to keep ahead of anyone criminally-minded that might try to get their hands on your hard-earned cash.


By entrusting the bank with your savings, you buy into a security system that’s far superior to what could be set-up at home. Really the same can be said for your media assets. If you store your content in a server on-site, even if you’re comfortable that your physical systems are robust, most likely, the server is connected to your network which is in turn connected to the internet in one way or another. This inevitably puts your content at risk.  Can you be absolutely certain that your firewall, encryption, and secure access control, is as good as a system that is compliant with high-level ISO requirements? The chances are you simply haven’t got the time, systems, tools, or expertise, to make sure.

Considerations when moving to the cloud


The comprehensive, multi-layered security that is available when storing data in the cloud includes features such as; application security, network protection, access control, user validation, threat monitoring, and encryption, as well as suspicious login, and activity monitoring. As with entrusting the bank to look after your money so you have a team of banking security experts protecting it, with cloud storage, you’ll have a team of global cybersecurity experts helping to secure your data at all times.


Moving media assets to a cloud-based storage system can seem like a daunting prospect and to do so properly means not just replicating existing systems in the cloud, but rather reimagining systems and workflows. The biggest benefits come when using ‘born in the cloud’ tools and systems, rather than legacy software that has been adapted for cloud use. This need to overhaul systems and rethink entire ways of working is understandably a challenge for most businesses. So this is perhaps where opting for a more hybrid, tailored solution might be a sensible route for some broadcasters where the most relevant workflows and content are moved into the cloud first.


Whatever the requirements, cloud systems integration projects need a high-level of technical, business, and industry knowledge, to ensure the infrastructure is both secure and future-proof. With no two workflows the same, 7fivefive helps clients to transition to next-generation technologies, focusing on upgrades that will have a positive impact both technically and commercially. Get in touch with our team to find out more.