Cloud-based security solutions are on the rise. Organizations are joining the digital transformation trend and migrating from on-premise to cloud-based systems. By moving their security systems to the cloud, organizations can leverage its scalability, accessibility, and flexibility to better manage their security systems.
However, just like on-site security systems, true cloud-based systems have their own set of drawbacks. While on-site systems are at risk for physical security vulnerabilities, migrating to the cloud comes with cybersecurity risks, as well as disadvantages in infrastructure brought about by its high network requirements and internet outage risks.
Hybrid cloud security systems bridge the gap between on-premise and true cloud-based systems. It allows organizations to enjoy the advantages of both systems while mitigating the risks.
What is a hybrid cloud security system?
As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud security system consists of on-site storage as well as one located in the cloud, which could either be public (hosted by providers) or private (hosted locally with on-premise servers). For example, a hybrid video surveillance system consists of IP security cameras with onboard storage that upload only select, activity-triggered footage to the cloud.
Having multiple storage methods is one of the main draws of hybrid cloud systems. Because the data exists both locally and, in the cloud, hybrid systems can ensure that there will be no gaps in the footage should one part of the system fail.
Compared to true cloud systems, the onboard storage on the cameras eliminates internet outages as a point of failure. The cameras will keep recording footage, which is accessible through the local network, and upload it to the cloud once internet access is restored.
In a similar vein, hybrid cloud video systems protect data against Network Video Recorder (NVR)/Digital Video Recorder (DVR) failure, the footage from a hybrid system could be lost on the supported network storage device, should it fail. Should the recorder fail for any reason and on-site data is lost, the footage will still be available in the cloud.
Unlike true cloud-based systems, hybrid video surveillance systems require less network bandwidth since it’s not constantly uploading 100% of the footage. This makes it optimal for low-bandwidth conditions, with individual cameras using only under 20kpbs of bandwidth unless being viewed live. This allows organizations to dedicate their network bandwidth to more business-critical functions, with no increased costs needed to upgrade to a higher-capacity connection.
Remote access is one of the biggest advantages of a cloud-based system. While an air-gapped NVR/DVR system has minimal security vulnerabilities, it does not allow for ease of viewing, aside from the on-premise viewing station. Organizations open or forward ports and configure VPNs to add remote viewing capabilities to their NVRs or DVRs. This adds security risks which are often exploited and attacked. Hybrid security systems allow authorized users to access footage from any device or browser.
Aside from accessing footage remotely, cloud providers also have software that allows authorized users to manage their system remotely using a single dashboard to monitor their systems’ health, as well as share and archive footage.
Scaling a true cloud system means increasing bandwidth requirements, while NVRs and DVRs have a cap on the number of cameras they can support. Meanwhile, scaling a hybrid system wouldn’t generally require any additional infrastructure aside from the cameras themselves.
Compared to analog cameras, many of today’s Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are equipped with more advanced features. IP cameras have capabilities such as facial recognition, motion detection, night vision, and video analytics for improved security. They also leverage AI technology to improve analysis and monitoring.
Setting up a hybrid cloud security system
Security providers such as Avigilon, Verkada, and OpenEye offer out-of-the-box solutions for a hybrid cloud-based system. While hybrid cloud systems are showing signs of becoming the new standard, not all solutions are created equal. Here are some things to look for when planning for a hybrid cloud security system:
- End-to-end encryption of data, in transit and at rest. This gives an added layer of protection for your data, even if it gets accessed through unauthorized means.
- Automatic firmware updates. Modern systems have the capability to push updates automatically to patch vulnerabilities.
- A user-friendly software program. The software program should allow for ease of management and monitoring, including remote access and control, user permission management, and analytics.
Whether traditional or cloud-based, each type of solution presents different security risks. Hybrid cloud systems are no different – they’re still susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. It’s important to have the following safeguards to protect your system:
- Ensure that the network connection is secure, with security protocols for protected access and firewalls to block any unauthorized access.
- Use antivirus and antimalware software programs.
- Have a good password management system for all authorized users.
- Perform regular firmware and software updates, especially any critical patches that address known security vulnerabilities.
Cloud-based solutions are constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and they’ll only get smarter over time. It’s an important topic to consider when talking about future-proofing your security systems. Security experts like Absco Solutions can help, so you can reap the benefits of the cloud without compromise.
For more information about hybrid cloud systems, contact your Absco Solutions account executive or our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.